What does the Prism logo mean?
The freaky Dark Side of the Moon-style design looks like something a Bond villain would use – but it does sum up the surveillance program pretty neatly
Friday 7 June 2013
Posted by Tim Dowling
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What does a top secret surveillance program need, aside from the ability to spy on virtually every internet user, and the sense not to mention it to anyone? If you answered: "a really freaky logo", there may be a job for you at the National Security Agency.
Some people may question the wisdom of going to a lot of trouble to create a design – especially one that owes a tremendous debt to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album cover – for a $20m spy initiative that no one is meant to know about. But the Prism logo certainly illustrates the programme's undisclosed mission: we collect the white light of the world's personal data – all of it – and refract it into an array of information we can use to keep America safe. One colour is evil foreigners plotting terrorist atrocities, the other is your Facebook photos and your internet dating profile. We never get them mixed up. The whole logo is surrounded by an irregular polygon that vaguely resembles a key. It's like something a Bond villain might put on his website.
The Information Awareness Office logo
The eye-on-the-pyramid scheme came from the Great Seal of the United States – it's on the back of the dollar bill – and is still beloved of conspiracy theorists all over the world. It's meant to be the all-seeing eye of God, but it's also commonly associated with freemasonry, the occult and a shadowy New World order presided over by the Illuminati. To deploy it in a logo for a creepy-sounding spy agency simply justifies the paranoia of people who think the world is run by lizard-shaped aliens. David Icke's next podcast will write itself.