For at least six years, Prism gives the government unprecedented access to all of your personal information. It is a code name used by the US government in the surveillance of the country. There were leaked documents that went into force in 2007, thus it has gained momentum ever since. The objective is primarily to monitor potentially important communications that are foreign and flow through US servers; nevertheless, the scope is far larger than it looks in practice.
This aids in providing the NSA with access to all stored data and information. It has aided in dealing with security vulnerabilities before they arise. Microsoft was the first company to sign on as a partner for Prism, and other businesses such as Apple quickly followed. These corporations allegedly have to pass up data to the government when the necessity arises to obtain information from the servers or risk a government lawsuit, and they are compensated to do so.
Prism monitors direct calls; they gather metadata pertaining to who and where phone conversations were made to and from, as well as generalized information; additionally, they have complete access to all emails or chats transmitted. This assures that the emissions do not jeopardize national security.
They have had the ability to do so for years in order to collect information for the security of the nation and the government. Even the US government has adopted Prism. It is legal and is being used to the fullest extent, the prism has complete legal status and must be followed to the letter, and it is not being modified in any way. The argument is that the country is far larger than individuals who oppose prism; in fact, prism is here to stay; we just need to find a way to live with it.