If you thought that the NSA’s surveillance programs were just a secret and that it was a matter of privacy, you might want to reconsider.
As The Atlantic reported, the NSA has been engaged in an extensive program to collect data on millions of Americans and is now reportedly planning to begin using the data to target American political groups.
“The program is one of the most sweeping in American history and the government’s efforts are designed to gather the most personal data about every American, including the names, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and social-network profiles of everyone who communicates with them,” The Atlantic wrote.
“At this point, the data is being used to target a broad swath of American politics.”
This is just the latest in a string of troubling revelations from the NSA and other government agencies.
The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald detailed the extent of the NSA spying, which was described in a classified report leaked to the media last week by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The NSA collects all of your communications, even when you don’t have a physical connection to a target, as well as metadata about who is sending what messages and when.
It also can track your internet usage.
The agency’s ability to do this is unprecedented in modern history.
And it has been used to conduct mass surveillance against people, groups, and even entire countries.
The Guardian revealed how the NSA had been able to hack into a number of high-profile US companies to spy on them.
As Greenwald noted, the programs were described in terms of “total information victory,” the NSA said.
The programs involved a “large and comprehensive” network of spies and surveillance equipment.
“We’re not just talking about some old equipment, we’re talking about a whole new kind of information warfare,” Snowden said.
“They are not just targeting people; they are targeting all the things about people.”
The NSA’s spy programs are also being used by US allies to spy, according to Greenwald.
In a piece published on Thursday, The Intercept highlighted the UK’s attempts to spy upon allies in order to gain intelligence on potential Russian activity.
“Britain’s efforts to spy and track its allies in Europe are nothing new,” The Intercept reported.
“It’s been known for years that the UK spies on and monitors European allies.”
It also detailed how Russia was attempting to hack US military facilities to gain access to the computers of the US military.
“Russia’s intelligence services are actively using the NSA for this, in particular to collect on US military hardware and cyber capabilities,” the Intercept wrote.
And in 2016, The Guardian also revealed how Russia had infiltrated a group of US contractors, which included some of the nation’s largest corporations.
In this video, Snowden describes how the agency has been able, by leveraging its vast resources, to spy in an unprecedented way.
As of September 2018, the Guardian reported that more than 50 million Americans have been subject to NSA surveillance.
The revelations were not limited to US surveillance.
On Thursday, WikiLeaks released a trove of documents from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which revealed how US intelligence agencies have used surveillance technology to spy more aggressively than ever before.
As part of the program, the agency was able to monitor millions of American phone calls and emails and even target American military personnel.
The leaked documents also revealed that the US government was monitoring US lawmakers, journalists, and civil liberties groups.
WikiLeaks stated that the agency’s intelligence efforts are focused on “domestic terrorism, cyber security, cyber espionage, and information operations.”
The leaks were a significant departure from previous leaks of NSA data.
In 2013, former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that he was able access the NSA files of dozens of Democratic senators, including Dianne Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In the same year, former US intelligence contractor Edward Pincus revealed that intelligence agencies were monitoring journalists.
Snowden was able by hacking into the computers and emails of the senators and other lawmakers.
Pincous leaked his own personal data to the press, but not the agency files.
Snowden’s revelations led to an investigation by Congress into the extent to which the US was spying on Americans.
However, it took the NSA five years before it was revealed that it had been spying on American citizens for years.
The National Security Agency has long been criticized for its abuses, which have been documented in the Snowden documents.
However now, the US is attempting to build up a large-scale data mining program to analyze data from American political organizations.