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Transcript of The NSA
What is the NSA?
-The National Security Agency (NSA)
-Formed after WW2 (in 1952) under the Presidency of Harry Truman.
- Coordinates and directs highly specialized activities to protect United States information systems and to produce foreign intelligence information.
-Estimated to be the largest of U.S. intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget.
-The NSA is mainly tasked with global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.
-More recently, the NSA has been tapping into American's history on the internet, phone calls, etc.
-At one point, it collected a “large number” of call records from Washington because a programmer typed in area code 202 instead of Egyptian dialing code 20, audit showed.
-Also improperly examined data on 3,000 Americans and green-card holders.
-Many incidents took place when foreigners brought cell phones into United States that were being tapped without warrant.
-Another former employee, William Binney, stated that Bluffdale, a 1.5 million square foot NSA facility, would not be necessary for metadata. However, that much space would be necessary to store content of communications made by Americans. If the NSA only stored metadata, they would only need a 12x20 ft room for the entire world's data.
-Edward Snowden: Government contractor who has identified himself as source of disclosures about secret NSA data-gathering programs. The 29-year-old, who until recently had been working at an NSA facility in Hawaii, told The Guardian newspaper he was concerned about how “massive and invasive” government’s intelligence-gathering system has become and wanted to spark national debate.
-Glenn Greenwald: The Guardian newspaper reporter who interviewed Edward Snowden.
-Barton Gellman: The Washington Post reporter who Edward Snowden reached out to to discuss NSA’s surveillance of data.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Unfortunately, the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) has to rely on the accuracy of the information that it is being provided because they do not have the resources to investigate issues of noncompliance. It would be almost impossible for this one court with its limited staff and resources to police and look behind the government. Therefore, attorneys take the most serious violations and bring them to the judge's attention if they need to be addressed in a timely manner. In other words, Americans have no other option than to trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.
-The US NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times since '08.
-Former NSA employee, Russ Tice, claimed that the NSA was collecting content (word-for-word) of many domestic communications in the country.
-NSA audit(released in May 2012 by *Edward Snowden*) said there were 2,776 "incidents" over previous year in which agency exceeded authority in collection, storage, and distribution of communications.
-Audit was released through The Washington Post and The Guardian newspaper.
-They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.
-The Wall Street Journal reported that the data collection of mobile phone records extends past Verizon (98.9 million user) to AT&T (107 million users) and Sprint (55 million).
NSA involved programs:
- Prism: A data-mining program that gives the US government access to many of emails, chat logs and other data directly from the servers of nine internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and Apple.
-Boundless Informant: Prism is involved in the collection of data, but Boundless Informant organizes and indexes metadata (data about data).