Recent debate over U.S. government surveillance has focused on the information that American technology companies secretly provide to the National Security Agency. But that is only one of the ways the NSA eavesdrops on international communications.
A classified NSA slide obtained by The Washington Post lists "Two Types of Collection."
One is PRISM, the NSA program that collects information from technology companies, which was first revealed in reports by the Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper last month. The slide also shows a separate category labeled "Upstream," described as accessing "communications on fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past."