The Wall Street Journal published an article on Wednesday revealing new details that prove the NSA's surveillance reach is greater than previously believed:
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.And the NSA responded with this statement:
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:
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.
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.”