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.

Latest Stories

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

WINA Wins 10 Awards From Associated Press

AP Awards for Year 2014 032815 (LS)

WINA has been named the Outstanding News Operation in Virgina and West Virginia combined.

in Local, Local Sports, Sports, UVA, UVA Sports

UVA Clinches ACC Series With Notre Dame

baseball bat

The UVA baseball team swept a Saturday double-header with Notre Dame 9-1 and 4-2.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

rainman

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Albemarle County, Local, Surrounding Counties

Ex-Albemarle Official Charged With Felony

D

A former high-ranking official in the Albemarle schools faces a felony charge in Fluvanna.

in Local, Surrounding Counties

Virginia Democrats Get New Leader

Swecker Susan 032815 (sent to us) CC

Susan Swecker has become the new chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia.