FRIGHTENING THOUGHT: NSA is able spy on 75 percent of all U.S. internet traffic
Agency's reach is far, far more pervasive than previously thought
The National Security Agency, or NSA's surveillance capabilities has the ability to spy on an incredible 75 percent of all U.S. internet communications. Citing current and former NSA employees, the Wall Street Journal says that this disturbing fact is far more than officials connected with the agency has disclosed.
Carried out with telecom companies, NSA scans for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the United States.
Officials told journalists that the system's broad reach makes it more likely that domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.
The agency's stated aim is that it "is centered on defeating foreign adversaries who aim to harm the country.
"We defend the United States from such threats while fiercely working to protect the privacy rights of U.S. persons. It's not either/or. It's both," NSA said in an email statement to Reuters.
Where does the information all come from? Telephone companies, Internet firms and from the monitoring of online traffic, officials say.
Captured Internet material goes through large-scale filtering and processing systems before joining the other online and phone data in the main NSA databases.
All the material from there is then passed through software that spots links or patterns in the data, before being passed on to a NSA analyst, who examines the information in detail.
All the final reports are then stored in databases named Maui and Anchory.
According to the newspaper report, these surveillance programs show the NSA can track almost anything that happens online, so long as it is covered by a broad court order.
Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, first disclosed details of secret U.S. programs to monitor Americans' telephone and Internet traffic earlier this summer.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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