Overflight, 105

If TURMOIL flags your traffic as suspicious, it tips it over to TURBINE, which diverts your request to the NSA’s servers. There, algorithms decide which of the agency’s exploits — malware programs — to use against you. This choice is based on the type of website you’re trying to visit as much as on your computer’s software and Internet connection. These chosen exploits are sent back to TURBINE (by programs of the QUANTUM suite, if you’re wondering), which injects them into the traffic channel and delivers them to you along with whatever website you requested. The end result: you get all the content you want, along with all the surveillance you don’t, and it all happens in less than 686 milliseconds. Completely unbeknownst to you.
Once the exploits are on your computer, the NSA can access not just your metadata, but your data as well. Your entire digital life now belongs to them.

PRISM enabled the NSA to routinely collect data from Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple, including email, photos, video and audio chats, Web−browsing content, search engine queries, and all other data stored on their clouds, transforming the companies into witting coconspirators. Upstream collection, meanwhile, was arguably even more invasive. It enabled the routine capturing of data directly from private−sector Internet infrastructure — the switches and routers that shunt Internet traffic worldwide, via the satellites in orbit and the high−capacity fiber−optic cables that run under the ocean.

Study after study has shown that human behavior changes when we know we’re being watched. Under observation, we act less free, which means we effectively *are* less free.