NSA collects millions of text messages daily in untargeted global sweep…And Big Brother Watch asks how can this be legal?

Posted: 18 January, 2014 in Internet Snooping
Tags: ,
Read more Liberty News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

From bigbrotherwatch.org.uk
See article from theguardian.com

The Guardian reveals mass that state snoops have a programme of mass interception and analysis of people’s phone messages:

NSA logoThe National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.

The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages — including their contacts — is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The documents also reveal the UK spy agency GCHQ has made use of the NSA database to search the metadata of untargeted and unwarranted communications belonging to people in the UK.

The NSA program, codenamed Dishfire, collects pretty much everything it can , according to GCHQ documents, rather than merely storing the communications of existing surveillance targets.

The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more — including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity.

…Read the full article

Big Brother Watch responds with some pertinent questions:

Big Brother Watch logo Today’s Guardian newspaper carries an alarming report about an NSA database of text messages, including those sent by British people. While messages belonging to US citizens are deleted, those belonging to British citizens are not.

First we need to know how the NSA was able to get access to UK telephone networks and scoop up millions of our texts. Then we need to know who authorised it and why they decided to hand over the private messages of people under no suspicion whatsoever to the Americans without any public or Parliamentary debate.

If an interception warrant for an individual is not in place, it is illegal to look at the content of a message. Descriptions of content derived metadata suggest the content of texts is being collected and inspected in bulk and if this is the case GCHQ has serious questions to answer about whether it is operating under a perverse interpretation of the law cooked up in secret.

The telecoms companies providing our mobile phone services need to urgently reassure their customers that they are not handing over our data in bulk to the UK or US governments. GCHQ should not be using foreign agencies to get around British laws.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.