News

NSA surveillance covers 75 percent of internet traffic

NSA surveillance covers 75 percent of internet traffic

The NSA's surveillance network has the capacity to reach around 75 percent of all U.S. Internet communications. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – The National Security Agency’s surveillance network has the capacity to reach around 75 percent of all U.S. Internet communications in the hunt for foreign intelligence, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Citing current and former NSA officials, the newspaper said the 75 percent coverage is more of Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed.

The Journal said the agency keeps the content of some emails sent between U.S. citizens and also filters domestic phone calls made over the Internet.

The NSA’s filtering, carried out with telecom companies, looks for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the United States, the paper said.

But officials told the Journal 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.

In response to a request for comment, NSA said its intelligence mission “is centered on defeating foreign adversaries who aim to harm the country. We defend the United States from such threats while fiercely working to protect the privacy rights of U.S. persons.

“It’s not either/or. It’s both,” NSA said in an email statement to Reuters.

The Journal said that these surveillance programs show the NSA can track almost anything that happens online, so long as it is covered by a broad court order, the Journal said.

Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, first disclosed details of secret U.S. programs to monitor Americans’ telephone and Internet traffic earlier this summer.

Recent Headlines

in Music

Kelly Rowland accidentally reveals baby’s gender

Fresh
kellyrowland

The singer slips up and reveals the gender of the baby she's expecting with husband Tim Witherspoon.

in Music, Viral Videos

WATCH: Bret Michaels covers ‘Endless Love,’ serenades van

Fresh
bret

The Poison frontman remakes the Lionel Richie classic, while rocking out at Nissan's car testing facility.

in Music

BeyoncĂ©’s dad will teach you how to break into the biz

Fresh
knowles

For $350, the pop star's dad says he'll teach you how to make it in showbiz.

in Entertainment

‘Sharknado 2′ sparks feeding frenzy on Twitter, sets record

sharknado

Flying sharks chomping through NYC drew a record audience for Syfy network and became the most tweeted-about TV movie in history.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Dog brakes

dog

Stella the yellow lab wants to keep playing fetch but her hind legs have other plans!