Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The NSA has Access to 75% of All the Internet Traffic in the US According to the Wall Street Journal

Don't take my word for it, take the word of the hard working folks at the Wall Street Journal.
According to a story in the WSJ, the National Security Agency has the capacity and the ability to monitor three quarters of the Internet traffic here in the good old US of A.
By forcing compliance by the US telecommunications companies, the NSA can access roughly 75% of the traffic because that's the amount of traffic these companies carry and no one knows for sure how much they *do* monitor from a quantity standpoint.  Now granted, I used the word quantity on purpose because we still really don't know about the quality of what they get.  By that, I mean we don't know if there is some giant repository of all your emails somewhere and if they are reading them.  However, with the price of storage dropping almost continuously, I would wager that they have copies of your stuff somewhere.
Supposedly, once they got access to the traffic from the telecoms, they then use parameters to determine what to look at.  That can be things such as IP addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and other qualifying data.
However, even though the NSA is supposed to only be monitoring foreign info passing through the US from outside or from US to outside or outside to US, supposedly your emails can be read as well.
While I'm all for keeping us all safe, I'm also a bit jumpy on someone saving stuff that I think may have been deleted long ago.  Ronald Regan once endorsed the concept of "Trust but Verify".  That's still a good policy today.
If you would like the read the Wall Street Journal article (and I recommend you do), you can find it here.  

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