clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Anonymous 'leaks' already-public NSA documents unrelated to PRISM

New, 11 comments
Gallery Photo:
Gallery Photo:

The hacktivist collective Anonymous is trying to pull back the curtain on the NSA's PRISM surveillance program, but they're having a little bit of trouble doing so. This morning, members of Anonymous purported to leak 13 documents concerning PRISM — the only problem? They're all unclassified, publicly available documents that with only one exception can be found with a cursory Google search.

The documents don't mention PRISM at all

While none of the documents mention PRISM, Anonymous points out that many of the documents do refer to the NSA's Global Information Grid (GIG), a network that connects parts of the Department of Defense. Anonymous implies that the DoD has a more nefarious purpose for GIG — but if there is one, these documents don't show it.

If the government really doesn't want us to see these documents, it's because many of them are the kind of dull interoffice communications that exist exclusively in the back of HR departments' filing cabinets. One document explains how to apply for and maintain a DoD security clearance. Another is a training document that defines workplace jargon and other need-to-know terms, like "website" ("a collection of web pages, that is, HTML/XHTML documents," if you're wondering).

It's not clear then why Anonymous is alleging to have leaked a series of revealing files. However, the hacktivist group doesn't have a formal structure, and what one arm of the group does may not be actively condoned by the group as a whole. This time around, it looks like they're trying to drum up fear more than prove why we should be fearful.