The Government Has Your Emails, All Of Them
December 5, 2012 by Sam Rolley
A National Security Administration whistle-blower said in a recent interview that the U.S. government collects massive troves of data about American citizens, which it could use against anyone it chooses.
Speaking with RT, William Binney, a former NSA mathematician and code breaker, said that the Federal government uses a powerful data collection tool to store the contents of virtually every email sent by anyone in the Nation.
“[T]he FBI has access to the data collected, which is basically the e-mails of virtually everybody in the country. And the FBI has access to it. All the congressional members are on the surveillance too, no one is excluded. They are all included. So, yes, this can happen to anyone. If they become a target for whatever reason — they are targeted by the government, the government can go in, or the FBI, or other agencies of the government, they can go into their database, pull all that data collected on them over the years, and we analyze it all. So, we have to actively analyze everything they’ve done for the last 10 years at least,” he said.
Binney said the government is collecting the information in bulk without any regard to whether the individuals whose information is being stored is subject to criminal investigation at this time or is considered a threat to national security. According to the former NSA agent, the data is collected with a powerful information technology device called Naris which is capable of collecting all information being sent over fiber optic cables in the United States. The information is then stored in vast data collection centers where it can be searched later by Federal agents.
This sort of vast data snooping by the Federal government was first brought to light when it was discovered that the NSA was working with AT&T to monitor customer phone and Internet activity via a secret office at the company’s headquarters. The discovery led to a lawsuit and much stonewalling by the Federal government.
Binney says government surveillance of data over fiber optic networks has increased since the first lawsuit was filed against AT&T for allowing Fed snoops to mine its data networks. He claims that under the Administration of Barack Obama the government has even had to build larger facilities to store all of the data it is collecting from Americans’ inboxes.
“They are doing more. He is supporting the building of the Buffdale facility, which is over two billion dollars they are spending on storage room for data. That means that they are collecting a lot more now and need more storage for it,” he said. “That facility by my calculations that I submitted to the court for the electronic frontiers foundation against NSA would hold on the order of 5 zettabytes of data. Just that current storage capacity is being advertised on the web that you can buy. And that’s not talking about what they have in the near future.”
This post was modified from its original form on 05 Dec, 6:38
Well, I guess we should all pack our bags and get out of dodge. Here we are on a liberal network with our anti-liberal ideas. Wow! They must have a large pile of stuff from me.!
Wonder if I should await a large black Escalade in front of my house?
If you see just one you needn't worry. But it it's 3 or more, you'd better climb out the back window and head for the hills. (Oops, I forgot, you don't have any hills down there - do you?)
Mmmmmm. Maybe you'd better buy a wig, a pair of glasses, a cane and and old worn out house dress, and make like you're the house keeper. When they come for you, just tell them she's out in the back yard and let them in, them gradually walk in a different direction. LOL LOL.
This has been going on for decades, since McCarthy. They have to justify their bullshit jobs. You can clearly see how all their cloak and dagger bull stopped 911......Not.
Its just another agency that bleeds the poor taxpayer of more blood money and does nothing.
What happened with 9/11 is that the CIA was not sharing their information. They knew.
Diane, this is exactly right; that was the basis for Homeland Security. The FBI, CIA and NSA were not sharing intelligence that they had gather from their sources and thus this attack was able to take place.
This is something we need to know was inevitable. It is not the government agencies that are our problem here, it is those that break the law and create this sort of situation that we now have to live. If we are doing nothing wrong there is no reason to fear that they are going to be investigating us, further, if you don't think they have been regardless of internet, you are wrong. Bush Jr. did nothing new when he authorized wire taps, that has been going on, as you say, Frank, for many, many years. J. Edgar Hoover was a big proponent of wire tapping and that is how he was able to survive in Washington D.C. politics.
It will not be the common person like you or I that they are concerned with and they are not going to go through millions and millions of documents, not feasible nor desirable. It is those that they suspect of illegal activity that will be the ones to be concerned and that the government will be concerned.
Unfortunately one of the biggest problems for any of these agencies is that they are at the mercy of Congress and the Administration for their budget. They have had to actually be so concerned with the "politics" of all of this that there was a lot of reason to keep their information to themselves, the jockeying for position to get the larger portion of the pie. I put the blame for a degree of this on Congress as this sort of atmosphere should not exist.
Yes Diane they may have known and because of their ineptitude......thousands of people paid the price with their lives.
Well it's much too late to say that it's a shame that we couldn't have straightened out this major flaw in our organization's ways of handling things prior to 9/11, but as we all know, hind sight is always 20/20.
Thankfully, the various organizations have now basically gotten together and although they are not particularly fond of one another (old grudges tend to be very difficult to get rid of) at least there is communication between them today and the next 9/11 would most definitely be much more difficult to get away with, it it could be gotten away with at all.
I'm sure that there are some people in this world who are making plans to teach those of us that they hate with a passion, another sad lesson, but hopefully, with the intelligence agencies that we have - all attempts will be put at bay or crushed, providing that we still have the strength of those agencies and of our military.
Yes, Frank, it was wrong. We can't go back unfortunately and fix it but hopefully we've learned a costly lesson.