The NSA Spying Gets Worse

Now we have XKeyscore, which “collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’.”

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian’s earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.


The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.

“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

So, either Rep. Rogers knowingly lied, or he was lied to by the state security apparatus.

Yeah, it just keeps getting worse, and there is more to come, at least that is what Senator Ron Wyden said yesterday when he said that, “U.S. intelligence agencies’ violations of court orders on surveillance of Americans is worse than the government is letting on,” which means that even with a incredibly compliant FISA Court (You need to keep them away from toilet paper, because they will sign anything), they be bothered to follow the “law”.

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