NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls

n13-iconThe Washington Post reports: The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere.

In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording “every single” conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls

  1. A Meshiea

    The article goes on to say:
    “At the request of U.S. officials, The Washington Post is withholding details that could be used to identify the country where the system is being employed or other countries where its use was envisioned.”

    I think its fair to say they are rolling it out for ALL countries US included.

    This is appalling.

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