NSA Accessing 75% Of Domestic Internet Traffic

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unclesam nsa

Yes, I know there is a need for this kind of surveillance to stop another 9/11 from happening but come on….

The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

The NSA’s filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system’s broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.

Obama: “We don’t have a domestic spying program”….riiiight. And oversight?

Paul Kouroupas, a former executive at Global Crossing Ltd. and other telecom companies responsible for security and government affairs, says the checks and balances in the NSA programs depend on telecommunications companies and the government policing the system themselves. “There’s technically and physically nothing preventing a much broader surveillance,” he says.

But wait…didn’t Obama say there was oversight going on “from all three branches of government”?

Where was the “three branches of government” during the widespread abuse of the NSA surveillance authority? Where was the “three branches of government” when the NSA taught its analysts how to hide information from those in charge of oversight? Hell, Diane Feinstein admitted she knew nothing about the widespread abuse and only learned about it from the news.

So this is the kind of oversight that should make us feel all warm and cuddly about the NSA surveillance?

Well, with that kind of oversight, or lack thereof, todays report that the NSA gathers 75% of all domestic internet traffic doesn’t make me feel warm and cuddly whatsoever…

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

8 Responses to “NSA Accessing 75% Of Domestic Internet Traffic”

  1. 1


    NSA collected thousands of emails from Americans, rebuked by court

    In 2011, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was notified of a problem involving “upstream collection,” which is the collection of Internet traffic outside of the service providers. The NSA was collecting bundled email communications under a provision which focuses on foreign Internet traffic. The NSA, though, was not effectively segregating all the traffic from Americans.

    The court rebuked the NSA for the violation.

    “For the first time the government has now advised the Court that the volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe,” John D. Bates, a judge on the surveillance court, said in October 2011.

    The documents show the NSA scooped up as many as 56,000 emails and other communications by Americans with no connection to terrorism annually over three years.

    While the NSA is allowed to keep the metadata — the address or phone number and the duration, but not the content, of the communication — of Americans for up to five years, the court ruled that when it gathered up such large packets of information, they included actual emails between American citizens, and it violated the Constitution’s ban against unauthorized search and seizure.

    In related News: Cell phone data latest threat to privacy

    Amid concerns from privacy advocates about the government’s sprawling surveillance programs, the Obama administration earlier this month petitioned the Supreme Court in support of a federal court ruling that allowed police searches of cell phones records without a warrant.

    The implications of the petition are huge, given that today’s smart phones are giant repositories of private information and can serve as tracking devices, as well.

    “The phone company, at any given time, knows where you are as a result of the basically technical functioning of the network, ” says Alan Butler of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

  2. 2


    RE: “Yes, I know there is a need for this kind of surveillance to stop another 9/11 from happening”
    No. That’s wrong. It won’t prevent another 9/11 because the real bad guys know that their communications are being monitored, and they have taken the appropriate counter-measures.

    Case in point: the US recently closed numerous embassies throughout the Middle East due to a likely terrorist attack. In that part of the world, where there are orders of magnitude less communications to monitor and where there are no legal barriers to the CIA/NSA monitoring, you can bet that the quality of the spying is much higher. OK. What did we know about the attak?
    WHO will attack us? We don’t know WHO, either the individuals or the group.
    WHAT will be attacked? We don’t know the target, even in general terms.
    WHEN will we be attacked? Sometime soon, but we don’t have even a narrow range of times.
    WHERE will we be attacked? We don’t know.
    HOW will we be attack? We don’t know.

    For all the sophisticated communications monitoring, we didn’t know much, did we?

    The NSA spying on Americans isn’t for stopping terrorist attacks.
    It’s being put in place to provide leads to the FBI, DEA, and other agencies to make them look good.
    It’s being used to help the White House identify whisleblowers.
    And It’s being used to monitor political opponents and help opposition reasearch.

  3. 3



    I don’t send anything over the internet that the government would be interested in, so they must include me in the 25%, right? Oh, but wait, the Obama Administration might consider Flopping Aces to be a subversive website.

    Well, that puts a different picture on things, I have sent and received email from Curt and other writers at FA. It isn’t really exciting material, but maybe Obama thinks it is important; especially, as he begins to feel the paranoia that results from incompetence and failure. In that case, these emails about how you perform a particular function on the website might be very interesting. Unfortunately, you tend to bypass terrorists like the Boston Marathon Bombers and traitors like Manning, but he will feel secure in the fact that he has a tab on the subversives at FA.

  4. 4



    With the NSA’s intense focus on collecting data from our emails, social networking and phone calls, maybe Conservatives and TEA party folk should consider dropping back to use older technology such as CB & ham radios.

    What do you think “good buddy”?

  5. 5

    Nan G

    Good News!
    Obama’s surveillance review panel stacked with intel leaders and WH staffers.
    Recent acting head of the CIA, Michael Morell, will be among what President Obama called a “high-level group of outside experts.

    Peter Swire worked in the Clinton White House where he chaired a working group on how to update wiretap laws for the Internet, He was also on the Obama-Biden Transition team and even served as special assistant to president Obama for economic policy.

    Richard Clarke endorsed then-Sen. Obama’s presidential campaign in 2007.
    Nothing says transparency that appointing some of your friends and staffers to review your performance.

    And then, in a class by himself, Cass Sunstein, a former Obama administration White House staffer.
    Recall he wanted infiltrators inside the TEA Party and other organizations that exposed Obama wrong-headed policies.
    So the very man who wanted to OLD SCHOOL spy on Americans is going to review the NEW SCHOOL NSA’s ability to spy on Americans!

  6. 7


    Curt, are you saying you don’t trust our government? Too many politicians have promised us too many times that they can be trusted. They wouldn’t keep being elected if they couldn’t be trusted, would they? Only TRUSTED politicians get elected.

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