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Ceturtdiena 22.03.2018 | Name days: Tamāra, Dziedra

U.S. secret service listens to phone calls and might read e-mails

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has unveiled in a classified briefing that its analysts can listen to domestic phone calls without court authorisation.

Congress representative Jerrold Nadler has disclosed that during a secret briefing to members of the U.S. Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed «simply based on an analyst deciding that», CNET reports.

In case the NSA wishes «to listen to the phone», an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler told he learned.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s impressive surveillance apparatus works domestically, it also implies the U.S. Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to listen to phone calls.

As the same U.S. legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, being able to listen to phone calls might mean the NSA analysts could also access the contents of internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval, CNET considers.

Nadler’s statement appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who unveiled classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden has told in an interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii «wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president».


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