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NSA collecting millions of contact lists

Press TV – October 15, 2013

The US National Security Agency is collecting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal email and instant messaging accounts around the world, according to a new report.

Many of the contacts belong to American citizens, The Washington Post reports, citing senior intelligence officials and documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

According to the report, the super spy agency intercepts millions of email address books every day from private accounts on Yahoo, Gmail, Facebook, and Hotmail that move through global data links. The agency also collects a half million buddy lists from live chat services and email accounts.

It is the latest revelation of the NSA’s practices to be disclosed by Snowden, who lives in Russia, where he has been granted temporary asylum. The leaker is wanted in the US for espionage charges.

NSA’s analysts of the collected data can search for hidden connections and map relationships within a much smaller universe of foreign intelligence targets, according to the report.

“The collection depends on secret arrangements with foreign telecommunications companies or allied intelligence services in control of facilities that direct traffic along the Internet’s main data routes,” it says.

Although the collection takes place overseas, the NSA sweeps in the contacts of many Americans too. The agency collects as many as 250 million contacts per year, many them US citizens.

The NSA’s collection of all US call records has already generated controversy in the country since the agency’s program was first revealed in June. NSA officials have defended bulk collection as an essential tool to counter terrorism.

October 15, 2013 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , ,

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