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.
The new data-sharing rules enacted by the Obama administration will allow the NSA to lawfully share the unredacted, full take of its surveillance databases with sixteen other US government agencies — meaning that, for example, Trump’s door-to-door deportation squads could use that data to figure out who’s doors to break down, and his Muslim surveillance […]
The United States intelligence community has promised lawmakers it will provide as soon as January 2017 a public estimate of the number of Americans whose digital communications were subject to surveillance under the pretense of capturing foreign espionage, according to a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers’ letter that Reuters saw and reports here.
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