today's Pick
NSA 'can record all of a country's phone calls'
Publish Date: Mar 19, 2014
NSA 'can record all of a country's phone calls'
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency has developed a surveillance system that can record 100 percent of a foreign country's telephone calls, The Washington Post reported late Tuesday.

The system allows the agency to review conversations up to a month after they take place, the Post said. It quoted people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The newspaper said that, at the request of US officials, it would not reveal details that could be used to identify the country where the system is currently being used or other countries where its use is envisioned.

The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009, the Post said.

Its "retrospective retrieval" tool and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere, the Post said.

In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording "every single" conversation nationwide, storing billions in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary the Post said it has seen.

In the deluge of US intelligence monitoring methods disclosed so far by Snowden, no other NSA program has been known to be monitor the entirety of a nation's phone network.

NSA collection of phone meta data -- who is called and how long a conversation lasts, but not the content of the call -- was among the first of the Snowden disclosures.

In a statement, Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, declined to comment on "specific alleged intelligence activities," the Post said.

Speaking generally, she said that "new or emerging threats (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."

Snowden is a now a fugitive who has been granted asylum in Russia. The United States has charged him with crimes including espionage.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Busia district chairman kicked out of office
The Minister of Local Government, Adolf Mwesige, has ordered the embattled Busia district chairman, Adea Ouma, out of office....
Health workers death toll mounts in W.Africa as Ebola spreads
Nigeria's health minister will hold an emergency meeting of state health commissioners on Monday as West Africa struggles to halt the deadly Ebola virus, amid growing concern at the toll among healthcare workers...
Nuns go public for first time in 150 years
A group of Ecuadoran nuns opened the doors of their convent to the outside world Saturday - a first since the order arrived in the South American country 150 years ago....
New test fast-tracks diagnosis for malaria
A new invention can cheaply and accurately diagnose malaria infection in just a few minutes using only a droplet of blood....
Fears for Lesotho
The attempted assassination of a top military commander plunged Lesotho into further turmoil Sunday, following an apparent coup that forced the prime minister to flee to neighbouring South Africa....
Large explosion, gunfire at Somalia
Suspected Shebab militants attacked Somalia's intelligence headquarters and detention facility in central Mogadishu on Sunday, setting off a bomb and opening fire on the complex, police and witnesses said...
Do you think banning the sale of single cigarette sticks will help regulate tobacco production?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter