The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.
The reports leave readers with the impression that NSA is sifting through as much as 75% of the United States' online communications, which is simply not true. In its foreign intelligence mission, and using all its authorities, NSA "touches" about 1.6%, and analysts only look at 0.000004% of all the world's internet traffic.
This is not the first uncharacteristic "transparency" move on the part of the NSA in recent weeks. ProPublica reports:
Last week, the Washington Post published an internal audit finding the NSA had violated privacy rules thousands of times in recent years. In response, the spy agency held a rare conference call for the press maintaining that the violations are “not willful” and “not malicious.”
And if all that wasn't weird enough, it appears that the DNI has created a Tumblr to address the concerns of the public and press. Declassified documents related to the surveillance programs are showing up at icontherecord.tumblr.com (IC stands for "intelligence community"). They're on Twitter too.
Lots of law enforcement agencies hate crypto, because the technology that helps us protect our communications from criminals and griefers and stalkers and spies also helps criminals keep secrets from cops. With each terrorist attack there’s a fresh round of doom-talk from spooks and cops about the criminals “going dark” — as though the present […]
CIA Director John Brennan wants you to think the Paris attacks were Snowden’s fault — the “hand wringing” over mass surveillance has ended his agency’s ability to “thwart” terrorists attacks “before they’re carried out.” There’s only one problem with that: there’s no evidence that the US’s mass surveillance programs have ever prevented a major terrorist […]
United States District Judge Richard Leon has affirmed his 2013 ruling and has ordered the NSA to stop collecting phone records belonging to J.J. Little and his firm J.J. Little & Associates, P.C., and to segregate all the records collected to date so that they aren’t searched.
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