Many people suspected it, but now it is known for certain. The US government is spying on Americans, collecting vast amounts of electronic information to sort and store, and has been doing so for the last seven years.
The Guardian and Glenn Greenwald have the stories, and more reports are said to be on the way.
Edward Snowden was working at a high level for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and was able to see how the various spying systems scoop up emails, phone records, locations, durations, chats, and almost anything you do online. This information is combined with other available information to create profiles of each of us. Snowden has documentation to prove it, and shared it with Greenwald.
It’s worth your time to watch the video and read the interview.
He says that from his desk, he was able to look at any communications from just about anyone in real time. He says the US collects more data on its own citizens than it does on Russians.
The government isn’t denying it and, in fact, is saying it is ordinary and necessary. Some government officials feel the real problem is leaking this information.
Snowden supplied Powerpoint slides explaining how parts of the collection work.
Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, and AOL are reported to contribute data to the collection, as do major phone carriers like Verizon. The companies claim they follow the law. Twiiter notably resisted.
Data collected is said to include emails, video chats, voice chats, text chats, videos, photos, stored data, VoIP, file transfers, video conferences, login attempts and notices of activity, online social networking details, and “special request.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling on Congress to investigate:
“Congress now has a responsibility to the American people to conduct a full, public investigation into the domestic surveillance of Americans by the intelligence communities, whether done directly or in concert with the FBI. And it then has a duty to make changes in the law to stop the spying and ensure that it does not happen again.”
Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers, says “Pressure by an informed public on Congress to form a select committee to investigate the revelations by Snowden and, I hope, others to come might lead us to bring NSA and the rest of the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and restore the protections of the bill of rights.”