McClatchy reports: Despite U.S. intelligence officials’ repeated denials that the National Security Agency is collecting the content of domestic emails and phone calls, evidence is mounting that the agency’s vast surveillance network can and may already be preserving billions of those communications in powerful digital databases.
A McClatchy review of public records, statements by Obama administration officials and interviews with cyber and telecom security experts lends credence to assertions that the capability for such surveillance exists.
— FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate committee on March 30, 2011, that “technological improvements” now enable the bureau “to pull together past emails and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search.”
— The administration is building a facility in a valley south of Salt Lake City that will have the capacity to store massive amounts of records – a facility that former agency whistleblowers say has no logical purpose if it’s not going to be a vault holding years of phone and Internet data.
— Security experts, including a former AT&T engineer, say that the NSA has tapped into fiber-optic cables carrying phone and Internet data in cities across the country. [Continue reading…]