The Mysterious Missing Slides from the NSA Leaked Presentation

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
NSA slide (photo: Washington Post)

When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency (NSA), he turned over a 41-slide PowerPoint (PPT) deck to two newspapers hoping they would reveal the whole presentation about operation “PRISM” to the public.


Instead, The Guardian and The Washington Post published only five of the slides.


Apparently, the legal or national security implications of publishing the remaining slides may have dissuaded the newspapers’ editors from going all in on the major story.


“If you saw all the slides you wouldn’t publish them,” the Post’s Barton Gellman posted on Twitter, adding in a second tweet: “I know a few absolutists, but most people would want to defer judgment if they didn’t know the full contents.”


“I’m not going to discuss our legal advice with you,” Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian tweeted in response to a message from Kim Zetter at Wired, “but we’re not publishing NSA tech methods.”


Snowden’s preference was for the entire presentation to be published, according to Wired’s Kevin Poulsen.


That could still happen…if WikiLeaks gets a hold of the PPT slides. Julian Assange, the whistleblowing website’s founder, has said he’s had “indirect communication” with Snowden. He also acknowledged Snowden’s original intent, which might indicate what WikiLeaks would do with the information.


“Snowden demanded all 41 pages of PRISM document be published but neither WaPo nor Guardian had the courage,” Assange tweeted.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

What’s in the Rest of the Top-Secret NSA PowerPoint Deck? (by Kevin Poulsen, Wired)

The NSA Black Hole: 5 Basic Things We Still Don’t Know About the Agency’s Snooping (by  Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica)

What do National Intelligence Director Clapper and NSA Whistleblower Snowden Have in Common? Booz Allen Hamilton (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

NSA and FBI Secretly Mining Data from Internet Service Providers (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)       

Obama Administration Orders Verizon to Turn over all Call Records (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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