PRISM

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Hooraycat

A cat, trying to intercept data that is being diffused by PRISM. That is what cats do.

PRISM is a project of the North and South Alliance (NSA), an alliance in which all countries of the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere of the earth are united. As the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere together make up the whole earth, all countries in the world without exception are represented in this alliance.

The actual name of the project is US-984XN, but in order to make things not too easy for the general public, and to make the project sound a tad more interesting, the name PRISM was chosen in order to introduce some proper security through obscurity. Everyone is taught security through obscurity is useless which makes it an excellent technique for introducing some distraction. While the experts are laughing at the clumsiness of the obvious security through obscurity and condemning it, they do not actually try to decipher the meaning of the US-984XM code and its sister, the US-984XN code which is at the core of the project.

The PRISM project is highly classified. Not even the president of the United States of America knew about it, until a whistleblower named Southward Rainden blew his whistle a bit too loud near the White House in the middle of the night. Formerly, Rainden was employed by the NSA himself. In fact, blowing whistles was just one of his many hobbies and he just happened to be near the White House at that time. Initially, a cat was accused of waking up the president in the middle of the night, but soon afterwards it was established that the cat was unable to blow any whistles owing to a birth defect, and the true identity of the whistle blower was established based on recordings of cameras near the White House. Note that the cat on the illustration is a different cat. The cat that was falsely accused later moved to Mexico and ran for mayor there.[1]

Goal and Objectives of the PRISM project

The goal of the PRISM project is to diffuse communications on the Internet. Just like an optical prism diffuses light and breaks it up into its constituent spectral colors, the PRISM project strives to break communications on the Internet up into unintelligable streams of data and signals that do not make sense to most people. Typically, ten percent of a chat on Skype between two housewives on the way they prepare their spaghetti bolognese is routed via twitter traffic, another 10 percent is encoded by means of steganography in holiday pictures on picassa, yet another ten percent is encoded in morse code and posted on a usenet forum of nostalgic morse operators, etcetera.

This diffusion of communications is a valuable means of fighting terrorism. Many terrorists make use of the Internet for their communications, and very many of these communications pass through servers that are physically located in the United States. One of the objectives of the PRISM project was, to reduce terrorist communications by 10% in the year 2013 and even by 40% in the year after that. As such, the PRISM project can be seen as part of the War on Tourism.[2]

According to NSA Director General Keith Alexander, PRISM saved the United States and its allies 50 times from tourist attacks.[3] The diffusion of information at the New York Stock Exchange, in the NY subway system and in the kitchen of a Danish news paper are examples of this counter tourist prismification.

Even the president has stated, that PRISM has saved lives.[4] Many people underestimate the impact tourism has on traditional societies.

The Rise of a Hero

Jet li

Hong Kong hero, like Rainden

Many people would call Southward Rainden an innocent whistleblower who happened to blow his whistle at the wrong place at the right time, or at the right place at the wrong time, or even at the wrong place at the wrong time, depending on their point of view. However, it so happened that just as he woke up the president at the middle of the night, some heavy diffusion was taking place from the kitchen of the White House, which could have resulted in the leakage of serious classified information. Eye witnesses mentioned a severe kind of radiation emanating from that kitchen at the time. The president's cat succeeded in intercepting most of the emanation of diffused information at that point, as he woke up because of the whistling, just like the president. Because of this fact, Rainden is commonly seen as a national hero, who prevented the disclosure of this classified information that is of national interest from the White House. Clearly, the NSA was not amused by this obstruction of the workings of PRISM. They stated that no information was being diffused from the White House but rather that noise was being removed from state secrets, which is one of the beneficial side effects of PRISM, by design.

When Rainden was seen as a hero, he moved to Hong Kong to celebrate the fact. In a press statement, he clarified this choice by mentioning his favorite movie heroes, Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan, who are Hong Kong movie heroes.[5] Unlike the aforementioned heroes, Rainden's kung fu and acting skills are amateuristic at best, and after receiving much negative feedback from movie critics, Rainden decided that Hong Kong was not such a good choice after all. All references to Rainden have been removed from the IMDB when it appeared that he was not an actor after all.

The United States have even offered Rainden a private yet in Hong Kong, so that he could move more freely across the globe. However, Rainden decided that moving to Equador would be a better move than making use of this generous offer. In a letter to the president Rainden has expressed his profound gratitude for this generous offer to make use of a private jet. The reason for moving to Equador was not because he did not appreciate this kind offer, but rather that in his view, the people in Equador could actually protect some of the traditional values that the United States have uphold for many centuries. The choice of Equador is not a coincidence. The Equator divides the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere and at this point, members of the North and South Alliance often get confused whether the officials from the north or those from the south have jurisdiction.[6]

Because of the confusion, Rainden decided to stick around in Russia for some time. Many of the roots of the United States are in Europe, and Russia is part of that. Besides that, Christianity is the traditional religion of the US, Russia and Equador. Needless to say, Russian is an Indo-European language, just like English and Spanish. All in all there was enough common ground to stay in Russia or to move to Equador.

Protests against the PRISM project

Protests from the Public

The diffusion that PRISM incurred has provoked much controversy and protests world wide. Many people protested because the name US-984XN was so difficult to pronounce. Others were concerned that the diffusion of conversations on spaghetti would only add to the complexity of the preparation of this meal. The "Disentangle the Spaghetti" movement of 2013 was a reaction to PRISM. A famous slogan of this movement was: Do not serve any spaghetti that cannot be eaten with a fork and spoon. In the course of the months, 10 percent of many secret recipes has been discovered in the form of morse code, sublimal messages in Youtube commercials, animal sound recording CD's, moon robot route diversions and so forth.

Fit

A typical EWA member who is protesting against PRISM

Clearly, those who focused the attention on spaghetti had not understood the full impact of the PRISM project. Even though the diffusion of a skype conversation of house wives on spaghetti was mentioned again and again in news articles, this was only an example. The PRISM project diffuses just about any conversation, email correspondence, web browsing habit, etcetera that takes place on the Internet.

Protests from the EWA

The East and West Alliance (EWA) is an alliance that unites the nations of the eastern hemisphere and the western hemisphere of the world. There are no nations that do not have a presentation in the EWA, as the eastern and western hemispheres make up the world as a whole.

As the protests from the public increased in the year 2013, the EWA decided to raise objections against the PRISM project of the NSA. The main objection that was raised by the EWA against this project was the fact, that it introduced a lot of FUD ("Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt") and that it did not really have any constructive value.

In general, any input from the EWA is taken very seriously by the NSA, and vice versa. After all, the committees of these organizations are the same, only their label is different if they speak on behalf of either the EWA or the NSA and the clothes of EWA representatives are more casual, sparse and at times even more sexy than those of NSA representatives, who are in fact the very same persons, in order to make a clearer distinction of which organization is represented. Even the logos of the two organizations are identical, with the sole difference that the NSA shows the letters N, S and A and the EWA shows different letters. However, on the point of PRISM all feedback from the EWA has categorically been ignored, for unknown reasons.

Justification of the PRISM project

In a press release, the NSA attempted to justify the PRISM project, by clarifying the working of the diffusion that the project produces with mathematical formulas.

The justification of the project was, that the protesters should understand the fact that in their view, the following formula justifies the diffusion of the conversations:

\delta \approx \theta_0 - \alpha + \Big( n \, \Big[ \Big(\alpha - \frac{1}{n} \, \theta_0 \Big) \Big] \Big) = \theta_0 - \alpha + n \alpha - \theta_0 = (n - 1) \alpha \ .[7]

In this formula, \alpha means a terrorist attack from someone who is not an American citizen. \theta means any type of communication between a citizen of the US with someone outside the US. Note that \theta_0 is a special case of \theta which appears to be highly classified. The \beta that is missing in the formula denotes a terrorist attack from a US citizen.

Since this press release, no objections have been raised anymore against the project. Rumors have it, that activists are still trying to understand the meaning of this press release.

Footnotes

  1. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/vote_for_meow_cat_running_for_mayor_SvWA4JrT10N9zvSo77uPIM
  2. http://metro.co.uk/2013/06/12/why-we-should-have-all-seen-prism-coming-3838177/
  3. http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/18/nsa-director-general-keith-alexander-testifies-before-house-committee-on-intelligence/
  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/19/prism-obama-germany-merkel_n_3464613.html?utm_hp_ref=uk
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_%282002_film%29
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equator
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prism
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