08 Jul 2014
Nine out of 10 individuals who had their communications intercepted by the US National Security Agency were not considered surveillance targets and were regular internet users, according to a Washington Post investigation.
The four-month investigation also revealed that close to half of them were US citizens or residents.
“One program, code-named PRISM, extracts content stored in user accounts at Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and five other leading Internet companies,” the article said. “Another, known inside the NSA as Upstream, intercepts data on the move as it crosses the U.S. junctions of global voice and data networks.”
The Post’s study was based on 160,000 emails and instant messages intercepted within 22,000 surveillance reports between 2009 and 2012. Some 11,400 intercepted online accounts provided the NSA with 7,900 documents in the same timeframe.
“Stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes” were within the intercepted files.
This is yet another Snowden-provided revelation about NSA’s surveillance program in the last few years.