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NSA Collects 200 Million Text Messages Per Day 287

Posted by timothy
from the hey-why-do-you-hate-america? dept.
ilikenwf writes "A new release from the files obtained by Edward Snowden have revealed that the NSA collects millions of text messages per day. These are used to gain travel plans, financial data, and social network data. The majority of these texts and data belong to people who are not being investigated for any crime or association. Supposedly, "non-US" data is removed, but we all know that means it is sent to a partner country for analysis, which is then sent back to the NSA."
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NSA Collects 200 Million Text Messages Per Day

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  • by kaptink (699820) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:52PM (#45978901) Homepage

    Supposedly, "non-US" data is removed

    No, you have that round the wrong way -

    "Communications from US phone numbers, the documents suggest, were removed (or “minimized”) from the database – but those of other countries, including the UK, were retained."

  • Re:Releases (Score:5, Informative)

    by pyrrho (167252) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:04PM (#45979031) Journal

    Greenwald and his collaborators (at various papers around the world) have been releasing it slowly. There is some controversy about this... clearly Greenwald is ordering the information in such a way as to maximize and extend the impact. Personally I approve.

  • Non-story here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trachman (3499895) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:07PM (#45979073)
    Don't want to rain on the festival, but text messages is only one sub-set of the data that is being spied on. Here is the partial list, as presented by [] internet searches (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu) websites visited (all anti-government websites and your xxx-rated websites becomes a permanent record) emails sent and received social media activity (Facebook, Twitter, World of Warcraft, Snapchat etc) blogging activity including posts read, written, and commented on videos watched and/or uploaded online photos viewed and/or uploaded online music downloads mobile phone GPS-location data mobile phone apps downloaded phone call records text messages sent and received online purchases and auction transactions bookstore receipts credit card/ debit card transactions bank statements cable television shows watched and recorded commuter toll records parking receipts electronic bus and subway passes / Smartpasses travel itineraries border crossings surveillance cameras medical information including diagnoses and treatments prescription drug purchases guns and ammunition sales educational records arrest records driver license information Of course, this information together with targeted SIGINT is put together and is being analyzed to identify any risks, as decided by policy makers. So, Text messages is only a small piece of SIGINT
  • Re:Releases (Score:5, Informative)

    by jessetaylor84 (3497397) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:10PM (#45979097) Homepage Journal
    Snowden specifically requested that the documents be released slowly, and only after careful analysis, rather than all at once. This is not to protect the police state, but for Snowden's own personal safety. Greenwald and other journalists are respecting the wishes of their source, and not throwing Snowden under the bus after he trusted them. You can read a bit about the reasoning behind their release method here: []
  • Re:ONLY 0.2B ??? (Score:3, Informative)

    by gewalker (57809) <[Gary.Walker] [at] []> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:43PM (#45979435)

    US message volume was 2.19 trillion times in 2012 (a 5% decline from 2011) this is equivalent to 6 billion each day. article []

  • Re:Releases (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrbester (200927) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:45PM (#45979447) Homepage

    Assange didn't have a choice after the password to the archive was printed in a book *by the Guardian* for all to see...

  • Re:Any evidence? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jiro (131519) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:02PM (#45979617)

    It isn't really clear that they did in fact lie to Congress.

    From your own link:

    The attempts to parse his answer to Wydenâ(TM)s question as being technically truthful don't work and he should stop trying to claim that he didn't lie. But a dispassionate view of these circumstances shows that there are times when honesty is not always the best policy.

    In other words, even your link admits that they lied to Congress, the link just tries to argue that lying is justified.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:30PM (#45980889)
    Bruce was asked to tell congress about the NSA because in congress' view, the NSA wasn't talking. []
  • Re:1963: JFK says (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:14PM (#45981207)

    Obama doesn't have a fraction of the courage of JFK. None of them do, except Carter and Bush Sr. and perhaps Nixon.

    You don't have a clue. Reagan was in shock when he was shot, and his response had nothing
    to do with "bravery".

    More importantly, Reagan was a real scumbag, of the very worst kind.

    Reagan was a man with only one principle, and that was to do what was expedient to further his own agenda.

    If you think Reagan was a good man, research his behavior during the era of McCarthyism and learn the truth,
    which is that Reagan was a willing witness for those swine, and Reagan helped ruin the careers of people who
    had done nothing to deserve it.

    Fuck Reagan, and fuck you and anyone else who thinks Reagan was a good person.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 17, 2014 @04:06AM (#45983523)

    Here's a's called Wolf-PAC. We can pass an amendment to fix the fundamental problem, MONEY, and bypass Congress in doing so:

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord