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FRIGHTENING THOUGHT: NSA is able spy on 75 percent of all U.S. internet traffic

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The NSA keeps the content of some emails sent between U.S. citizens and also filters domestic phone calls made over the Internet in the hunt for foreign intelligence, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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.

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