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Former high-ranking NSA analyst Russ Tice returns to ruminate on report that NSA has achieved 100% data collection in a country or countries, and can replay audio for 30 days or more.Click here for free audiobook download from Audible that earns $15 for the PBC Podcast!
Based on Snowden documents, Washington Post reported on March 18 that NSA has achieved capture of 100% of phone traffic in an unnamed country. We turn to Tice for analysis and informed speculation. With the clues available, we note that the US is the country where we know the NSA has full access to all fiber optic networks, and that this is not easy to achieve in another country without that country’s cooperation. Since the documents don’t mention any translations or language specialists, we consider that the lucky 100% coverage nation may be an English-speaking ally.
The link to the Post website with the document and glossary of NSA jargon is here.
Tice notes that the documents show that the NSA cannot process all the communications it intercepts, and that Mystic and related programs attempt to reduce the amount of chaff in the wheat pile. He helps translate the jargon, and explains that the controversial metadata collection provides the index for analysts to find recordings of specific calls at the same time it gives cover to the FISA court.
He comments on the recent admission from the Pentagon inspector general that he didn’t know about the metadata program (contradicting assertions of Gen. Alexander to Congress) and the assertion by NSA counsel that tech companies were well aware of NSA hacks and taps, even if they were forced to cooperate.
And he comments on Sen. Feinstein’s current fight with the CIA.