Edward Snowden has leaked additional documents to The Guardian, this time detailing a wide-reaching National Security Agency (NSA) program that tracks Internet use. Meanwhile, Congress is investigating the intelligence gathering programs at the agency.
The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald reported, "A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its 'widest-reaching' system for developing intelligence from the internet."
USA Today's Doug Stanglin added, "The materials shed light on one of Snowden's most controversial statements that, from his desk, he could 'wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal e-mail.' Snowden, 30, says he was authorized to use XKeyscore while working as a Booz Allen contractor for the NSA."
CNET's Don Reisinger noted, "Despite the vast amounts of data the NSA can reportedly access, it is possible that it has not used against American citizens living within the U.S. The NSA documents, in fact, show that as of 2008, the X-Keyscore platform was used to nab 300 alleged terrorists around the world. Another describes how the NSA determines identities of alleged terrorists who access Internet forums."
In related news, Charlie Savage with The New York Times wrote, "The Obama administration on Wednesday released formerly classified documents outlining a once-secret program of the National Security Agency that is collecting records of all domestic phone calls in the United States.... The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released the newly declassified documents related to the domestic phone logging program at the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the topic."