The Guardian reports: A review of top-secret NSA documents suggests that the surveillance agency still collects and sifts through large quantities of Americans’ online data – despite the Obama administration’s insistence that the program that began under Bush ended in 2011.
Shawn Turner, the Obama administration’s director of communications for National Intelligence, told the Guardian that “the internet metadata collection program authorized by the Fisa court was discontinued in 2011 for operational and resource reasons and has not been restarted.”
But the documents indicate that the amount of internet metadata harvested, viewed, processed and overseen by the Special Source Operations (SSO) directorate inside the NSA is extensive.
While there is no reference to any specific program currently collecting purely domestic internet metadata in bulk, it is clear that the agency collects and analyzes significant amounts of data from US communications systems in the course of monitoring foreign targets. [Continue reading…]