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NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls

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posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:20 AM
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The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls


The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere.

In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording “every single” conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary.

The call buffer opens a door “into the past,” the summary says, enabling users to “retrieve audio of interest that was not tasked at the time of the original call.” Analysts listen to only a fraction of 1 percent of the calls, but the absolute numbers are high. Each month, they send millions of voice clippings, or “cuts,” for processing and long-term storage.


I know i know, the NSA is using this newly revealed program in a foreign country, as some of you would say. Some of you would also say that due to this fact, we shouldn't really care about its use as it is the job of the NSA to do this stuff...

Well yeah it is their job, but if the NSA is using it on foreign countries, you can bet your bottom dollar they are using it on Americans too.


edit on 18-3-2014 by daaskapital because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:23 AM
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daaskapital

Well yeah it is their job, but if the NSA is using it on foreign countries, you can bet your bottom dollar they are using it on Americans too.


Hear hear. I would bet all the money I will ever make in my lifetime that this is true.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:23 AM
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reply to post by daaskapital
 


S&F.
I could be thinking in circles here...but in regard to the phone spying in general, and in light of the lack of information the US has about flight 370, it seems as if they are driving their ducks to the wrong pond. Funds could be put to better use.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by daaskapital
 


*looks left, looks right*

I swear I have nothing to do with this!!! LOL When I saw it's code named "MYSTIC" I had to laugh a little.

I wonder if anyone would ever be able to get phone records from the NSA to help prove their innocence in court? Hm, I probably shouldn't hold my breath.
edit on 18-3-2014 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by daaskapital
 


Everyone on ATS that is surprised by this, please raise your hand (or thumb emoticon).

Not...




posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:40 AM
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MystikMushroom
reply to post by daaskapital
 


*looks left, looks right*

I swear I have nothing to do with this!!! LOL When I saw it's code named "MYSTIC" I had to laugh a little.

I wonder if anyone would ever be able to get phone records from the NSA to help prove their innocence in court? Hm, I probably shouldn't hold my breath.
edit on 18-3-2014 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)


I wonder who picks all these names.. "majestic 8" "bluebeam"...



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:41 AM
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Riffrafter
reply to post by daaskapital
 


Everyone on ATS that is surprised by this, please raise your hand (or thumb emoticon).

Not...



It doesn't matter whether the news is surprising or not. The fact is, this is hard evidence supporting the fact that the NSA can go back through phone calls and listen to them...in foreign countries no less.

This is important news, regardless as to whether or not you think it is surprising.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:43 AM
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daaskapital

Riffrafter
reply to post by daaskapital
 


Everyone on ATS that is surprised by this, please raise your hand (or thumb emoticon).

Not...



It doesn't matter whether the news is surprising or not. The fact is, this is hard evidence supporting the fact that the NSA can go back through phone calls and listen to them...in foreign countries no less.

This is important news, regardless as to whether or not you think it is surprising.


Although it didn't come off that way - it was a compliment to your OP.

i.e. - I'm glad you posted it.

Here's an
to balance...



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:45 AM
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Riffrafter

daaskapital

Riffrafter
reply to post by daaskapital
 


Everyone on ATS that is surprised by this, please raise your hand (or thumb emoticon).

Not...



It doesn't matter whether the news is surprising or not. The fact is, this is hard evidence supporting the fact that the NSA can go back through phone calls and listen to them...in foreign countries no less.

This is important news, regardless as to whether or not you think it is surprising.


Although it didn't come off that way - it was a compliment to your OP.

i.e. - I'm glad you posted it.

Here's an
to balance...





...Thanks, lol. i didn't mean to come off as rude either. If i did though, i apologise.


Thanks again.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:48 AM
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MystikMushroom
[I wonder if anyone would ever be able to get phone records from the NSA to help prove their innocence in court? Hm, I probably shouldn't hold my breath.


Sure. You could subpoena James Clapper and have him do that uncomfortable head rubbing thing again while he denies they have recorded anyone's calls.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by amraks
 


That's something I've wondered about for a long time. Why do these names always have some kind of magical/mythical/mystical slant to them? It's either that or they'll just use an acronym. The military loves their acronyms.

"I went to the LBV to get some HRC, hopped on my ATV and went over the SBC to work with FORTAN for a bit before using SOCAR to locate my MRD's."

I've met people in real life that do talk like that...

So if the NSA can do this ... (which is pretty impressive)...why haven't we found the missing plane yet? We have all these impressive capabilities but we can't find a 777? Really? Reeeeeeallly?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:54 AM
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How much of this data is really useable? Don't get me wrong, I object to the invasion of privacy, but I'm wondering of what real value is this stuff? Millions of phone calls, emails, text messages. Looking for a particular call would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. No one has that kind of time.

In my opinion it's actually kind of piggish, like Hitler and all that stolen art. They want it all. They want everything. For what? So they can say they are the greediest intelligence service?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Restricted
 


How much data is usable is an invalid point if you "care" about invasion of privacy.


If all they get is my grocery list, and they can't decipher it, even that is an in excusable violation.

I have done nothing wrong, by even looking at my "meta" data, you are violating my rights, and defacto censoring me from fear of being monitored.

IT IS WRONG.

AND it is completely Anti- America.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:59 AM
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reply to post by Restricted
 


Put it to you this way:

You're under investigation for something. All they'd need is your telephone number and they'd be able to pull all the phone calls made to/from your phone. Then, they'd be able track down the people you associate the most with and tap their phones.

Once you get one piece of information, it can snowball into a huge case file on someone. It's sort of like the eye of Sauron from the LOTR movies. Most of the time it's just wandering around or staring off into space...but on occasion it can focus in on you with great intensity.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 


Well, they know what you like to eat.

If "they" showed up at your door, there's a good chance they know more about you than you know about yourself. They probably can even predict someone's behavior using models generated from all the various bits and pieces of information.

It's what I would do.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:02 PM
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Then there's the "I haven't done anything wrong, so there's nothing to worry about" thing. Privacy is already dead. The younger generation killed it with things like sharing on FB, etc., and the government aided and abetted.

So if you haven't done anything wrong, why worry?

PS, we're never getting our privacy back. That train has left the station.
edit on 3/18/2014 by Restricted because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:03 PM
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i wonder if Nancy Pelosi cares a bit about this revelation?
She signed off on it then..... but now that she has been a target, maybe she's wondering what they can go back and dredge up with the 'wayback machine'?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:03 PM
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MystikMushroom

I wonder if anyone would ever be able to get phone records from the NSA to help prove their innocence in court? Hm, I probably shouldn't hold my breath.


HAHA! Excellent point.
I also won't hold my breath for that, there is little for "The Man" to gain from an innocent citizen.
Even less if the citizen has proof of innocence.
Quite the world we live in...



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:04 PM
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reply to post by MystikMushroom
 


Well from a computational stand point I understand the prohibitive nature of sheer mass of information was the point, and it does not matter.

Even if they stored the data, and couldn't correlate it all into anything useful, it is still as an egregious violation, just as much as if they had Quantum computing light years ahead of consumer and industrial capability that could sort all the data.

IT DOES NOT MATTER THE USE, or justification for, the mere act of LOOKING is a violation.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:05 PM
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They've been doing this for a very long time now.

They release this information now, as news, for two reasons 1.) so that some can claim plausible deniability and 2.) because others will believe it. It changes the dialog. And perceptions of reality.


edit on 3/18/2014 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



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