Tag Archives | xkeyscore

Former NSA Chief on Spy Program: It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular

o-NSA-PHONE-RECORD-COLLECTION-facebookJust in case the cognitive dissonance wasn’t already large enough on the story-and-counterstory around programs such as XKEYSCORE and PRISM, formed NSA head Michael Hayden jumps into the ring:

Last week, the Guardian published a series of leaked documents revealing new details about an NSA surveillance program called XKEYSCORE. The newspaper said that the program enabled the agency to “search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals,” and secret slides dated 2008 showed how people could be deemed a target for searching the Web for “suspicious stuff” or by using encryption.

Following the disclosures, Hayden appeared on CNN to discuss the agency’s surveillance programs. The general, who directed the NSA from 1999 through 2005, was remarkably candid in his responses to Erin Burnett’s questions about the Guardian’s XKEYSCORE report. Was there any truth to claims that the NSA is sifting through millions of browsing histories and able to collect virtually everything users do on the Internet?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The NSA’s ‘Widest-Reaching’ Program XKeyscore Revealed

xkeyscoreVia the Guardian, the curtain keeps pulling back to reveal ever-greater levels of total surveillance:

The National Security Agency boasts in training materials that a program called XKeyscore is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The top secret program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview with the Guardian on June 10: “I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

Training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search.

Read the rest
Continue Reading