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News Link • Surveillance

Declassified Documents Prove NSA Is Tapping the Internet

• http://www.wired.com, By David Kravets
The document (.pdf) released today confirms for the first time unofficial leaks and speculation that the federal intelligence community has direct access to telecom companies’ backbones and it scoops up email communications as they go past. Millions are collected each year. WIRED first reported on such an eavesdropping installation in 2007 when a former AT&T technician provided documents outlining eavesdropping technology used by AT&T. Both the government and AT&T have declined to confirm the authenticity of the technician’s documents.
 
Today’s startling revelation was outlined in a 2011 opinion by Judge John D. Bates, then the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret tribunal that often rubber-stamps government surveillance requests in classified rulings.
One function of the court is to ensure the NSA’s activities target communications of those “reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.” The surveillance must also be designed to “prevent the intentional acquisition of any communication as to which the sender and all intended recipients are known at the time of the acquisition to be located in the United States.”

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