NSA Recording “100 percent” of Calls From At Least One Country
Former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked a new document showing the NSA is recording every single phone call from a foreign country. Documents leaked to the Washinton Post, show the NSA can play back any phone call placed within the last 30 days of another entire country.
“The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording ’100 percent’ of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place,” reports Washington Post.
NSA’s operation codenamed, MYSTIC, was launched back in 2009. MYSTIC was built from its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval”. Reports show that MYSTIC and RETRO reached full targeting capacity by 2011.
Documents reveal that the NSA can and does collect billions of calls per day in a 30 day buffer log. As new calls are made, calls older than 30 days were automatically deleted and overwritten by newer call data. Analysts only listened to around %1 of total calls captured, only small experts of few calls would be saved for long term storage.
The NSA claimed phone surveillance logs needed to be kept for “new or emerging threats” as they are “often hidden within the large and complex system of modern global communications, and the United States must consequently collect signals intelligence in bulk in certain circumstances in order to identify these threats.”
Documents also suggest that high volume call logging may be extended to other countries in the near future, if not already in place. Many activists such as, Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, suggested “over the next couple of years they will expand to more countries, retain data longer and expand the secondary uses.”
Official NSA spokespersons declined to comment on any recent allegations.
Sources: Leaked documents can be read here.