The National Security Agency vacuumed up nearly two hundred million text messages from around the world daily, the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News report on Thursday.
This newest revelation about the NSA’s vast surveillance made possible by documents leaked from whistleblower Edward Snowden exposes a program of untargeted collection called “Dishfire.”
Dishfire collects “pretty much everything it can,” one of the documents stated.
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Dishfire’s vast database of messages allowed the NSA to extract names, information from missed calls, credit card numbers, data from electronic business cards, financial transactions, details of border crossings, travel information and geolocation information.
A top secret presentation on the program provided by Snowden and dated 2011 is subtitled “SMS Text Messages: A Goldmine to Exploit.”
Further, the Guardian and Channel 4 News report that the NSA’s British counterpart, the GCHQ, was given access to this database.
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