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NSA Recorded the CONTENT of 'EVERY SINGLE' CALL in a Foreign Country ... and Also In AMERICA?

George Washington's picture




 

The Washington Post reports – based upon documents leaked by Edward Snowden – that the NSA is recording “every single” phone call in one foreign country (at the request of the NSA, the Post is withholding the name of the country. However, the Post notes that the NSA is also planning on expanding the program to other nations).

The Post also reports that the NSA has the ability to “reach into the past” and retroactively go back and listen to the calls later.

Sadly, this is also occurring in America.

Specifically, there is substantial evidence from top NSA and FBI whistleblowers that the government is recording the content of our calls … word-for-word.

NSA whistleblower Russel Tice – a key source in the 2005 New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration’s use of warrantless wiretapping – says that the content and metadata of all digital communications are being tapped by the NSA.

Tice notes:

They’re collecting content … word-for-word.

 

***

 

You can’t trust these people. They lie, and they lie a lot.

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden to Glenn Greenwald show:

But what we’re really talking about here is a localized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency.

 

It doesn’t mean that they’re listening to every call, it means they’re storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time, and it does mean that they’re collecting millions upon millions upon millions of our phone and email records.

CNET reported last year:

Earlier reports have indicated that the NSA has the ability to record nearly all domestic and international phone calls — in case an analyst needed to access the recordings in the future. A Wired magazine article last year disclosed that the NSA has established “listening posts” that allow the agency to collect and sift through billions of phone calls through a massive new data center in Utah, “whether they originate within the country or overseas.” That includes not just metadata, but also the contents of the communications.

 

***

 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence committee, separately acknowledged this week that the agency’s analysts have the ability to access the “content of a call.”

NBC News reported last year:

NBC News has learned that under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, the government has been collecting records on every phone call made in the U.S.

Former FBI counter-terrorism agent Tim Clemente told CNN:

There’s a way to look at digital communications in the past.

In other words, if an analyst wants to spy on you, he can pull up your past communications (Remember, the private Internet Archive has been archiving web pages since the  1990s. So the NSA has undoubtedly been doing the same thing with digital communications).

Tice and top NSA whistleblower William Binney confirmed to PBS that the NSA is recording every word of every phone call made within the United States:

[PBS INTERVIEWER] JUDY WOODRUFF: Both Binney and Tice suspect that today, the NSA is doing more than just collecting metadata on calls made in the U.S. They both point to this CNN interview by former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente days after the Boston Marathon bombing. Clemente was asked if the government had a way to get the recordings of the calls between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife.

 

TIM CLEMENTE, former FBI counterterrorism agent: On the national security side of the house, in the federal government, you know, we have assets. There are lots of assets at our disposal throughout the intelligence community and also not just domestically, but overseas. Those assets allow us to gain information, intelligence on things that we can’t use ordinarily in a criminal investigation.

 

All digital communications are — there’s a way to look at digital communications in the past. And I can’t go into detail of how that’s done or what’s done. But I can tell you that no digital communication is secure.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: Tice says after he saw this interview on television, he called some former workmates at the NSA.

 

RUSSELL TICE: Well, two months ago, I contacted some colleagues at NSA. We had a little meeting, and the question came up, was NSA collecting everything now? Because we kind of figured that was the goal all along. And the answer came back. It was, yes, they are collecting everything, contents word for word, everything of every domestic communication in this country.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: Both of you know what the government says is that we’re collecting this — we’re collecting the number of phone calls that are made, the e-mails, but we’re not listening to them.

 

WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, I don’t believe that for a minute. OK?

 

I mean, that’s why they had to build Bluffdale, that facility in Utah with that massive amount of storage that could store all these recordings and all the data being passed along the fiberoptic networks of the world. I mean, you could store 100 years of the world’s communications here. That’s for content storage. That’s not for metadata.

 

Metadata if you were doing it and putting it into the systems we built, you could do it in a 12-by-20-foot room for the world. That’s all the space you need. You don’t need 100,000 square feet of space that they have at Bluffdale to do that. You need that kind of storage for content.

 

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what does that say, Russell Tice, about what the government — you’re saying — your understanding is of what the government does once these conversations take place, is it your understanding they’re recorded and kept?

 

RUSSELL TICE: Yes, digitized and recorded and archived in a facility that is now online. And they’re kind of fibbing about that as well, because Bluffdale is online right now.

 

And that’s where the information is going. Now, as far as being able to have an analyst look at all that, that’s impossible, of course. And I think, semantically, they’re trying to say that their definition of collection is having literally a physical analyst look or listen, which would be disingenuous.

 

 

Binney tells Washington’s Blog:

It would have to come from the upstream collection/recording “Fairview etc” [background here and here] with – probably – telcom cooperation. That’s how the former FBI agent Tim Clemente could say on CNN that they had ways of getting back to the content of the phone call from one of the bombers to his wife prior to the bombing. Now we are starting to see some of the monitoring of US citizens on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) [background].

 

What’s new about the PSTN network is the content. We have heard a lot about phone metadata but not content. This is what I have been saying for a long time: that they are taking and storing content too. It’s not just about metadata. So [NSA's claim that it doesn't record the phonecalls of Americans is] just another government lie.

Bonus:

Snowden: “Is It Really Terrorism That We’re Stopping? I Say No. The Bottom Line Is That Terrorism … Has Always Been a Cover For Actions”

 

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Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:40 | 4569140 MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

Whatever happened to Utah shutting off the power and water to Bluffdale?

 

FUCK THE NSA!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:32 | 4569062 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Overheard --

"If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

"You filthy US Govt Nazi spy-cunt apologist, I am doing wrong "things" and I don't want peeping-tom police-state assholes watching my shit."

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:00 | 4568909 Duc888
Duc888's picture

 

 

 

What a fucking waste of resources.

 

Oh yea, fighting terrorists.  Pull my fucking finger.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:56 | 4568894 gmak
gmak's picture

If you like your phone call, we can keep your phone call.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:18 | 4568331 Bill of Rights
Bill of Rights's picture

Record this....blow me

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:13 | 4568311 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

well nothing to do but go back to the old analog phones, of course they can digitalize the content, but it will take some time, and with the mountains of data they are collecting that could be a deal breaker. encryption just plays into their hands, because they could store encrypted (digital messages) and break then apart later, because encryption is digital. you could scramble the analog, and while its really much lower tech it would require more time and resources to store and analyse.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:12 | 4568302 screw face
screw face's picture

MOAR GRIST....... for the Quantum computers..bank on it.

fc

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:28 | 4568071 falak pema
falak pema's picture

thats called drowning in other people's shit! 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:30 | 4567770 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

Boy, that Brenner is a piece of work.

What a slimeball.

He is the perfect mouth for the skanky NSA snake.

 

 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:25 | 4567736 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

NGO documents plan Ukraine war (E35)

NGOs caught forging documents for war, insider warns all NGOs infiltrated; 'Independent military observers' for EU-based group OSCE again turned away in Crimea, OSCE branded one more 'vulgar instrument' for foreign interests; and CNN buys the latest State Department hoax.

Seek truth from facts with Illinois University Professor of International Law and former Amnesty board member Francis Boyle; Infowars Editor Paul Joseph Watson; Eric Draitser of Boiling Frogs Post; Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams; Ukraine protest organizers; Sliman Bouchuiguir, whose NGO fabricated the claims against Libya; and Asst. Secretary of State Vic Nuland.

http://rt.com/shows/the-truthseeker/ukraine-war-ngo-documents-726/

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:21 | 4567724 elwind45
elwind45's picture

And yet they missed the invasion of Crimea because of Dick in hand syndrome?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:14 | 4567694 smacker
smacker's picture

None of this surprises me.

I always believed that when the likes of Obama, NSA and British GCHQ claimed only to be collecting metadata of telephone calls and e-mails etc, they were lying.

It is simply far easier - technically - to collect all the packets of data going back and forth and to store them rather than write complex software to split out and collect just the metadata.

This revelation confirms my long held view.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:16 | 4567645 mraptor
mraptor's picture

Let say you can encode 1 sec of speech in ~8KB audible (http://www.data-compression.com/speech.shtml)

Let's also assume :

1 min talk per day per person on average

100 mln ppl (USA 300 mln)

-> (8*60)*1*365*100e6 / (1024*1024*1024*1024)
 = 15.9343

i.e. 16 PetaBytes per year..

If average talk per day is 10 min : ~160 PB for year of talk

seems doable if only talk is recorded...

May be double to acheive redundancy and losses in managing it..!!!

>>

The Utah Data Center, also known as the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center,[1] is a data storage facility for the United States Intelligence Community that is designed to store extremely large amounts of data, estimated to be on the order of exabytes or higher

>>

So several years of talk-data...!!

 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:29 | 4568726 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

low tech will confound them. if you really want to communicate in private which of the following would you use, digital phone service, email, analog phone, ham radio, or a letter. now we know all digital phone calls are stored, emails are stored, analog phone calls can be digitalized, and stored but that takes time, another layer of conversions, ham radio can be monitored, and there isn't much traffic, but a letter is by far the most secure. any form of mass electronic communication is easily hacked and stored, but the older methods not at all.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:20 | 4569018 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

CB radio, Bandit.....

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:04 | 4567636 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

And the vast majority of Americans say?       yawn, hand me the remote, DWTS is on

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:53 | 4567588 elwind45
elwind45's picture

Ah a job were its salary and I can work with my Dick in my hand?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:05 | 4567641 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

And that would be different for you how?  :-)

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:35 | 4567474 xavi1951
xavi1951's picture

YAWN!!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 08:52 | 4567035 Calculus99
Calculus99's picture

There's a terrorist behind almost every wheely bin don't you know...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 08:37 | 4566992 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

So much 'data', so little wisdom.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:43 | 4566864 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

There was a time when you did not out your capabilities because you did not want your enemies to know that you were reading their dispatches.   Now everyone knows that everything is being watched, recorded and cataloged for future use.  So for those who are watching and listening let me ask you this.  You call yourself a human being you are watching some bastard beat the hell out of his wife, introduce some weak minded soul to crystal meth or rape his niece.  How can you sit there and watch that? In as much as you are part of the omnipotent omnipresent executive and you can kill us or disappear us on a whim why the hell aren’t you disappearing the truly evil bastards among us?  There should not be an unresolved violent crime in this country.  Don’t give me the BS to intervene would be illegal.  Hell everything you do is illegal.  You people are a disgrace.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:01 | 4567625 elwind45
elwind45's picture

Its on the exam! Your dad has just beaten your mom and is raping the nine yr. Old across the street and than stops to order pizza how long did the pizza take?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 06:25 | 4566802 the tower
the tower's picture

The country was UK.

NSA records all phone conversations in the UK, GCHQ is recording all the phone conversations inside USA.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:26 | 4566789 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

This drip-feed of info is getting rather tiresome.

Can't get rid of the feeling that Snowden is !STILL! NSA.

And it's all ONE BIG BLUFF - to get everyone paranoid & scared sh!tless: OMG! The NSA knows everthing about me! Better behave & be a good boy....after all Ive got nothin' to hide. OMG!!!!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:07 | 4567655 elwind45
elwind45's picture

Sending ROVER after everyone? Great post and dynamite photo IAM NOT A NUMBER ha ha ha

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 04:33 | 4566736 no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

"Controlled information that reaches the media and reproduced by them, may include the overestimated capability of governments to monitor, for example, an extremely large number of phone conversations. Even if there is such a possibility, such huge amount of data is extremely difficult to be processed. However, the technology is evolving rapidly, and possibly will allow processing of large amount of data in very short time, in the near future. When technology will allow this, people will have already become familiar with the idea that any conversation can be investigated and processed any time."

http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2013/11/training-societies-in-tolerat...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:19 | 4567718 elwind45
elwind45's picture

All this information being STORED because it isn't worth the money we paid to produce it? All this power turned on dumb downed citizens hardly seems worth it unless we can scare the dumb FUCKS with it?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 03:04 | 4566679 3rivers
3rivers's picture

I realize that the USA is the Home of Terrorism, that we Americans love to promote it on a global scale.... but do we REALLY need so many stories about it such as the unending Snowden stories?  It's like it's some kind of national obsession or something.  PLEASE, change the subject.  Let's talk about zombie killers and stuff like that instead.  Leave the phone tapping nonsense to our experts to take care of.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 02:10 | 4566649 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

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Wed, 03/19/2014 - 03:46 | 4566703 UselessEater
UselessEater's picture

ouch! scrolling past that wasn't nice; your point was well taken however; but some persistant questions I have of the sudden NSA meme:

1 why is the NSA being "outed"? There are many off-book and off-budget alphabets.

2 what are the real technologies being shielded by this already known caper?

3 who benefits from the negative mass media coverage of the NSA, who loses?

4 what actually changes?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:16 | 4568324 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The NSA is currently operating on-budget, under Congressional oversights, as a publicly acknowledged enterprise. They would very much like to change all that. My expectation is that once all this infrastructure is in place the Whitehouse will dissolve the NSA and condemn all their activities in certain terms. This will happen at an important national moment (perhaps just before an election cycle, or maybe during mass protests). And as soon as the NSA is defunded and dismantled all their tasks and technology will revert to a different off-budget black-ops organization run by exactly the same people toward exactly the same goals and that will effectively be the end of that particular problem.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 07:30 | 4566851 kurt
kurt's picture

What we don't know yet is the phone is recording EVERYTHING, every word in the room, conversations. That's why I talk to everyone and everything like a crazy person. Its like you're in your own movie! If they want stuff, give it to them, all the time, like your nuts. I like nuts, not those, almonds. I mean I like almonds. Philberts or are they Brasil nuts, the big ones? Anyway, those. And Stuff!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:40 | 4569133 ebear
ebear's picture

Unleash the teenage girls of doom!

and then I'm like,

and she's all like,

and then he's all like,

and like, you know?

yeah, like totally.

 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 19:06 | 4569923 kurt
kurt's picture

Umm, like, don't stop there. EVERY SINGLE KEYSTROKE, EVERY SINGLE SEARCH, EVERY SINGLE EMAIL, ALL OF YOUR TRAVELS. EVERYBODY YOU KNOW. ALL OF YOUR INTERESTS, INCLUDING OLD HOBBIES, YOUR SCHOOL HISTORY AND GRADES,

So like its really bad and stuff. Somebody three doors down has already printed out your file because he didn't like they way you looked at him. He hasn't decided, yet, what to do with it.

Do you think Nixon's dirty tricks were bad?

And stuff.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 00:31 | 4566520 novictim
novictim's picture

The 4th Amendment was shredded while we watched American Idol and Pawn Stars.
How should we respond? What say you, American "Patriots"?

Oh, I know!
Let's have a drumming circle and "Occupy" some suburban cul-de-sac... (while the news media interviews "Lil Bub's" owner and does an expose on Justin Bieber.)
Gee, prayer circles and Kumbaya have always worked, right? Am I right, here?! DERP

We are so DONE as a country...
Those Mother fuckers!...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 11:18 | 4567690 scrappy
scrappy's picture

NO! We are NOT DONE as a nation. Period.

Never give up, this is our test.

http://www.nationallibertyalliance.org/common-law

FULLY CONSTITUTED STATES

New York 2-27-14 (62 counties)
Florida 3-15-14 (67 counties)
Connecticut 3-15-14 (8 counties)
Rhode Island 3-15-14 (5 counties)

All 3142 counties in our country WIL BE CONSTITUTED.

Become a common law jurist in your local county.

This is it buds.

Thank you.

 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 03:13 | 4566686 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

What in the hell is WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY.

The slightest hint that Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton said something that wasn't quite true and BLAM they're crucified. Now...we have every single day the most unbelievable bald-faced lying by everybody up and down the government ESPECIALLY THE GUY AT THE TOP...and NOTHING HAPPENS?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:45 | 4569168 MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

Yeah....Nixon and Clinton really got crucified....I guess that's one way to look at retirement in pampered secure wealth for life....

 

NOTHING CHANGES UNTIL K STREET BURNS.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:50 | 4567563 Ignatius
Tue, 03/18/2014 - 23:12 | 4566362 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

The point is that they'll be able to 'make a case' against anyone from this database.

It's insidious.  No privacy, a virtual panopticon.  Welcome to your future.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 04:09 | 4566720 underman
underman's picture

All this technology, databasing, sorting and crunching will have it's end.  When those in charge come a knocking, there will be counter measures by millions who are patiently waiting and preparing for when it get's real.  There will be a fight like no other.  Clean and clear mind.      

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:37 | 4569119 Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

Hate to burst your bubble, but 50% of the US population are fatasses on at least one form of medication.  There will be no counter-measures. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:48 | 4569182 MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

The sheep will be slaughtered....that's not everyone.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 10:48 | 4567552 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

To quote one of our brothers here at ZH:

"See you on the battlefield, 'cause I ain't gettting on no train."

I don't know, the process has been and will likely be more subtle than this.

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 22:58 | 4566340 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

None of this spying shit is Constitutional; it violates at least 4 amendments, and just because they say it's "approved" by a secret court doesn't make it any less unconstititional.  It's gotta stop, along with the selective enforcement of law.  Start rounding up those banksters and wall streeters along with their political toadies.

Question is, how can we stop it, prosecute those responsible, and return the stolen loot to rightful owners? Big job.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:48 | 4569187 MrButtoMcFarty
MrButtoMcFarty's picture

K STREET MUST BURN.

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 22:55 | 4566332 g'kar
g'kar's picture

Their hard drives will be full of fuck, shit, asshole, cocksucker and a few tamer curses if they record my calls.

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 22:37 | 4566250 GooseShtepping Moron
GooseShtepping Moron's picture

I'm just a little skeptical about this, solely on the grounds that it seems technically very difficult.

If every single phone call and piece of internet traffic in America were being sniffed and stored somewhere by the NSA, I would think that would have some rather significant and traceable effects on grid performance. You can't hide something that big; the power consumption alone would be enormous. But server banks and telephone exchanges and power stations are managed by real people—ordinary people like you and me, not NSA stooges—at least some of whom must be competent at their jobs. Somebody would have noticed, somebody would have said something. Or maybe they did and it just wasn't noticed by many. Perhaps they mentioned something about it in casual conversations and it simply contributed to the dim, general awareness everyone had that "something was going on," the specifics of which were unknown and thus remained fodder for the sensationalists. However, I still maintain that the exigencies of such a system would make it highly unworkable in practice. I do not believe government agencies are any less fallible, any less subject to entropy, any more regimented in their ability to keep secrets, than, say, large corporations are, whose failures in those regards are notable. This gargantuan NSA spying program may fall under the heading of TBTE—Too Big To Exist. At any rate too big to exist and stay hidden.

For my part, I find that it would be affecting me less and less if it were occurring. I stopped watching TV years ago. I have confined my internet activities mainly to reading and writing. I have never been involved with social media and have never had much use for a cell phone. I did not refrain from these activities for "tinfoil" reasons; I just did not like them. They seemed to me a temptation to adopt all sorts of attitudes and practices that weren't right, novelties that I could not justify apart from the mere pressure to conform. I have never liked nor trusted the internet; I have never ceased to regard with disgust the changes that it has wrought in our culture. It has a merely instrumental value for me and makes up no part of my identity. If it were to fall apart tomorrow I would not be perturbed.

The fascination that most people have for the new media (especially the social media) and the consequent headlong rush to place so many things online, from personal information to financial transactions, have rendered them more vulnerable than they needed to be. It is a bit strange that people would willingly release information onto a public medium and then worry that somebody may be watching. Their initial expectation of privacy was perhaps a bit misplaced. They should have reflected on the fact that they neither owned nor managed the means by which this information was stored and transmitted; and the more alive they were to the possibilities of the internet, the more they resisted the intrusion of law and order into this new frontier. With paeans to free speech on their lips and visions of dollar signs in their eyes, internet entrepreneurs wanted exactly what the NSA is now accused of having—power; the power that comes from information asymmetry; the power to know and do things that could not be known and done before. It's not that I like the NSA any more than they do (or any more than I like them, for that matter), but I am willing to live by the principle that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. All advantage in the new frontier has accrued to the strongest player, the government. A perfectly libertarian world would look no different from the actual world.

But to end on an optimistic note, I am skeptical of one other thing also. I am skeptical that there is any real earth-shattering information to be gleaned in all those terabytes of data. I am skeptical that data-mining returns anything that could not have been discovered through the more conventional techniques of investigative intelligence guided by experience. The very fact that such a costly and useless project was ever deemed worth implementing is itself an artifact of our bloated, exigent age and will doubtless disappear when it does.

 

 

 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:45 | 4567261 thtmnbhndthecrtn
thtmnbhndthecrtn's picture

"NSA won't say how many servers are involved or reveal the data capacity of the $1.2 billion Utah Data Center. But running the complex requires 65 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 65,000 homes. The electronics generate so much heat that they would fry without 1.5 million gallons of cooling water a day.

More than 1 million additional square feet here are devoted to generators, diesel storage tanks, power substations, backup battery banks, water tanks, chilling plants and an office building. The annual maintenance costs are pegged at $20 million."

 

Seems like enough power.

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