Saturday, August 3, 2013

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'

Source: The Guardian
<ul>
<li>XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data
<li>NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
<li>Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history
</ul>
A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
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The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet.
<p>
While the Fisa Amendments Act of 2008 requires an individualized warrant for the targeting of US persons, NSA analysts are permitted to intercept the communications of such individuals without a warrant if they are in contact with one of the NSA's foreign targets.
<p>
The ACLU's deputy legal director, Jameel Jaffer, told the Guardian last month that national security officials expressly said that a primary purpose of the new law was to enable them to collect large amounts of Americans' communications without individualized warrants.
<p>
"The government doesn't need to 'target' Americans in order to collect huge volumes of their communications," said Jaffer. "The government inevitably sweeps up the communications of many Americans" when targeting foreign nationals for surveillance

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