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 surveillance network covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, reaching roughly 75 percent of all U.S. internet traffic. Siobhan Gorman reports on the News Hub. Photo: Getty Images.
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.You can read the complete Wall Street Journal article here.
Written by SIOBHAN GORMAN and JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES, published on August 20, 2013.