Thanks to a single National Security Agency program, the spy agency can monitor everything you do online, including searches, emails, chats, streaming video, purchases, and much more.
The program is called XKeyscore, and it is latest the bombshell to come from the Edward Snowden NSA leaks. The Guardian reporter Greenwald believes the XKeyscore documents validate Snowden’s claims that he could wiretap anybody anywhere in the world without asking anybody for permission. Greenwald and Snowden’s allegations are supported by various images that detail how XKeyscore works when it comes to monitoring all your communications and private data. Below you can see a crucial image that details how the program works.
The training presentation indicates that XKesycore lets NSA analysts search metadata: the information about phone and Internet usage collected by the agency. It allows an NSA agent to see if an individual sent any emails or even made a phone call. This would make it easy for NSA analysts to pinpoint an individual by his or her email or Facebook usage, especially when we factor in what the NSA can find out from just your phone records alone.
The XKeyscore training materials show that an agent can target anybody for surveillance using the program. Worse, a tool included in the program called DNI Presenter lets agents read stored emails, Facebook conversations, and chats.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the agents can also learn the addresses of every website you visit. That means they can check to see if you visited a gun website or checked out WikiLeaks.
What Greenwald describes violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. It also violates the laws and constitutions of many other nations, including Britain’s. Note there is no Constitution in Britain, but some British activists contend such programs violate privacy laws in that country.
Particularly bothersome is the line at the top of the XKeyscore presentation that you can see above. It states: ‘Top Secret Comint/ Rel to USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL’. That means the government agencies in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand are also reading your emails and texts. Not only is NSA violating our rights, it is violating the rights of people in other countries and helping foreign governments violate the rights of American citizens.
A graphic with the presentation from 2008 indicates that NSA agents can use XKeyscore to see phone numbers, email addresses, logins, and user activity. An agent with access to it will be able to see all of these communications. So theoretically would a hacker that stole XKeyscore data from the NSA. Serious efforts need to be made to bring the NSA under control now. It has become a major threat to our privacy and perhaps the Constitution at large.