Is the NSA trying to release secret surveillance documents before Snowden does?

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In an effort to temper concerns about NSA spying, the Director of National Intelligence will declassify documents about NSA surveillance operations.

As early as this week, U.S. intelligence agencies will declassify and release information about their surveillance operations, Reuters reported.

The decision to publicize more information about U.S. spying operations comes almost two months after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents revealing the agency's large-scale domestic and international surveillance programs.

Notable among these programs is PRISM, an operation that uses a controversial application of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to access Americans' Internet records.

According to Reuters’ confidential source, a U.S. intelligence official, among the declassified reports will be information about the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, leveraged by PRISM to give the agency access to Americans’ information on Google, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley tech giants.

What exactly the agencies will reveal is still unclear. Earlier this month, the director of the NSA, Keith Alexander, claimed that the agency knows exactly which materials Snowden took. Presumably this will influence what knowledge the Director of National Intelligence decides to declassify. 

The decision, said Reuters’ source, is part of a broader DNI initiative toward more transparency in the wake of Snowden’s leak.

Photo by Jason Baker/Flickr

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed PRISM in the name of Internet freedom
The whistleblower who exposed PRISM, the mysterious program that allows the National Security Agency to spy on users of nine different Internet companies, has revealed himself as Edward Snowden, a former CIA technical assistant and current employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the country's biggest security contractors. The 29-year-old high school dropout told the Guardian he did it all for Internet freedom.
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