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Caught Up in the Nsa Net


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A man caught in a net.

NSA surveillance reports analyzed by The Washington Post were found to include very personal and private information, both of ostensible targets of the surveillance and non-targets, many of them U.S. citizens and residents.

Credit: dreamstime.com

The Washington Post has published an analysis of about 22,000 surveillance reports collected by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) between 2009 and 2012 and provided to the paper by former contractor Edward Snowden. The reports are based on emails, chat logs, and other documents obtained by NSA under amendments to the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act through now-familiar programs such as PRISM and Upstream.

Intelligence officials, including former NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander, have repeatedly said Snowden did not have access to such documents. According to the Post, the reports included valuable intelligence that in two specific cases led to the apprehension of a pair of terrorists. However, they also included very personal and private information such as academic and medical records, as well as intimate and family photographs, both of the ostensible targets of the surveillance and non-targets, many of them U.S. citizens and residents.

The Post estimates that only one in 10 of the analyzed records belonged to the targets of surveillance, as the NSA casts a very wide net seemingly meant to capture as much data from as many Internet users as possible. Although mentions of and references to U.S. citizens, businesses, and organizations are "minimized" in the reports, they often are easily recognizable through context.

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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