Big brother is definitely out there, aren’t you big guy?
Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported the existence of several NSA programs that were either previously unknown, or little was known about. Meet Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew. The programs allow for far greater surveillance than the government has admitted to, and, importantly, detail how the government forces Internet service providers (ISPs) to hand over raw data.
The programs have the ability to “reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic,” according to the Journal, “including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans.” That content includes the writing of emails – not merely their metadata – and touches phone calls placed inside the U.S. that use digital telephony.
Back in 2006 when it was discovered that the NSA had installed equipment at an AT&T facility in San Francisco, it became widely suspected that the NSA was directly, or indirectly, being fed huge amounts of raw Internet data. The above programs confirm that fact. The Journal goes on to explain the process by which the NSA collects information: It commands ISPs to send it “various stream Internet traffic it believes most likely to contain foreign intelligence.” Following, the agency makes a copy of the information, and then runs searches on it, perhaps using an email address.