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 Entertainment

Third ‘Night at the Museum’ marks final film for Williams, Rooney

Fresh
nightatthemuseum

The credits for "Secret of the Tomb," which opens Friday, read "In loving memory of Mickey Rooney," and "For Robin Williams - the magic never ends."

in Music

Usher will skip cash giveaway during U.K. shows

Fresh
Superstar singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor Usher Raymond performs in concert on The UR Experience Tour at Philips Arena on December 9, 2014, in Atlanta.

Usher will abandon his onstage trick of handing out cash to audience members when he takes his latest tour to the U.K. because of safety concerns.

in Music

Stevie Wonder welcomes ninth child

In this photo provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, Stevie Wonder performs “Songs in the Key of Life” tour Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Stevie Wonder and his partner Tomeeka Robyn Bracy have welcomed a daughter called Nia.

in Music

The Game, T.I. to judge new rap reality show

T.I. attends ASCAP Presents The 2014 Grammy Nominee Brunch, at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills on Saturday, January 25, 2014 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The Game, T.I. and Rza are searching for the next big rap star in a reality TV contest.

in Entertainment

Chris Pratt thought ‘Guardians’ would be a box office flop

Guardians Of The Galaxy

The "Parks and Rec" star was very, very wrong.