A sketch aledgedly used in an NSA breifing caused a couple of Google geeks to “explode with profanity” according to Snowdens documents. According to the documents, the NSA has intercepted data between Google and Yahoo’s main Data Centers. This reportedly has given the NSA access to hundreds of millions of user records and transactions including metadata that could indicate what user sent or received emails and other content such as text, audio and video.
The tool used to perform this operation is reported to be called MUSCULAR, a project operated jointly by the NSA and it’s British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters. This appears to be a very agressive method of attaining information that the NSA already has access to under PRISM.
The NSA has said that the use of MUSCULAR is “focused on discovering and developing intelligence about valid foreign intelligence targets only.”
“NSA applies Attorney General-approved processes to protect the privacy of U.S. persons — minimizing the likelihood of their information in our targeting, collection, processing, exploitation, retention, and dissemination,” it said in a statement released in response to the release of these documents.
Google’s cheif legal officer, David Drummond, has said the company has “long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping” and that it has not provided access to the government. “We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform,” he said.
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