The web of NSA surveillance that has slowly been uncovered over the past few months just grew a little bigger today thanks to a New York Times report explaining the finer points of the agency’s data gathering practices. The NSA has publicly admitted to monitoring the phone calls and emails of individuals within U.S. borders who are communicating with so-called “targets” abroad – but details in leaked documents indicate that the agency also monitors the communication of people who may not talk directly to targets, but mention their names or information associated with them.
The Times explains how it began and how it works:
“To conduct the surveillance, the N.S.A. is temporarily copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text-based communications that cross the border.”