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The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail

8 years ago | 7506 Views

In June, President Obama said the NSA’s email collecting program “does not apply to U.S. citizens.”

The newspaper The Washington Post reports today that the U.S. National Security Agency collects hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans.

According to new data released by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, data collection took place at a time when users authenticate to the instant messaging service or public e-mail, or synchronize them with your device. The article says that the NSA analyzed the contact data in order to identify hidden relationships between people, to which was conducted espionage and intelligence.

Snowden says that the data harvested in the course of transit, and not when they are stored on the servers of providers. The press service of Google said they would not cooperate with the NSA . 

“We have neither knowledge of nor participation in this mass collection of web-mail addresses or chat lists by the government,” said Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick. 

A similar statement was made in Yahoo, furthermore, Suzanne Philion, a Yahoo spokeswoman, said Monday in response to an inquiry from The Washington Post that, beginning in January, Yahoo would begin encrypting all its e-mail connections.

Facebook spokeswoman Jodi Seth said that “we did not know and did not assist” in the NSA’s interception of contact lists.

Google was the first to secure all its e-mail connections, turning on “SSL encryption” globally in 2010. People with inside knowledge said the move was intended in part to thwart large-scale collection of its users’ information by the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

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Tags: National Security Agency, Edward Snowden, Facebook, Google, Yahoo


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