That NSA Prism PowerPoint deck: A better-designed version, and what's in the missing slides?

"Dear NSA, let me take care of your slides," writes Emiland, in a redesigned version of the Prism leak. "Do whatever with my data. But not with my eyes. Those slides are hideous."

Related: What's in the missing slides? Hacker and journalist Kevin Poulsen at Wired News explores what's missing from Snowden's PowerPoint deck. There are 41 slides, but the Guardian and the Washington Post would only publish 5 of them.

Even Greenwald, who urged me rather strongly in 2010 to publish Bradley Manning’s personal chats, is taking a more conservative view of the NSA’s PowerPoint. “I’m not going to discuss our legal advice with you,” Greenwald wrote on Twitter, “but we’re not publishing NSA tech methods.” To us geeks, the tech methods, of course, are the most interesting part. Snowden evidently wanted the entire presentation published, at least at one point in his discussions with the Post’s Gellman. On May 24, “Snowden asked for a guarantee that the Washington Post would publish — within 72 hours — the full text of [the] PowerPoint presentation,” Gellman wrote Sunday, in a fascinating account of his interactions with the whistleblower. “I told him we would not make any guarantee about what we published or when.”


  1. But do we really want the NSA’s presentations on spying on us to be slick and good-looking? I think I’d prefer that they be amateurish; then there’s a slight hope that someone viewing them might allow their attention to wander and think about what the presentation is actually selling.

  2. Very prudent of Mr. Greenwald and his editors. The journos are called heroic for dramatically revealing something we already knew and their source gets to spend a long period of time in very small rooms. 

    1. Sounds like more like a desperate attempt at a distraction than anything else.  They already know what the answer will be.  We all already know what the answer will be.

      1. Look over there! Bad graphic design! Never mind the Fourth Amendment, it’s time to feel smugly superior!

    1. I so, so wish both Apple and Microsoft weren’t on that list.  I’d switch to either one that stood up to this shit.

      I wonder how many Americans are going to change their workflow and even possibly their business goals just so they can stop being spied on so readily by the United States of Corporations?

      I know I’m looking into Linux now more than ever even if that means some disadvantages to my workflow.

      Who wants quasi-governmental corporations under the guise of “security and safety” peeking into their business plans?  Not me.

  3. I vote we stop using PowerPoint altogether and just teach people to give a proper informative speech. Even the reworked slides are a big YAWN – prettier, more informative – but still would not keep me awake in a meeting. Fortunately, in that meeting I could be perusing my co-worker’s Yahoo accounts, which would be much more fun.

    1. I vote we stop using PowerPoint altogether and just teach people to give a proper informative speech.

      Two words: Interpretive dance.

      1.  One: Eurythmy./remark: Please don’t get on about the ideology. I know. It’s disgustingly pseudo-scientific.

  4. Speaking of the NSA PowerPoint, here’s a hilarious lampoon of them by the FluffingtonPost. Even never considered the branding implications of this scandal. Funny stuff.

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