New reporting by The Intercept and a partner newspaper in Denmark reveals that the National Security Agency, beyond its well-documented close-ties to the so-called Five Eyes nations, has extensive and previously unknown surveillance agreements with other nations that allow it unsurpassed access to global communication systems and the private information of the world’s citizens that travel through them.
Based on documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the new reporting details a program called RAMPART-A which uses digital “congestion points” located across the world and allows the agency to “intercept the content of phone calls, faxes, e-mails, internet chats, data from virtual private networks, and calls made using Voice over IP software like Skype.”
The NSA would not give comment to The Intercept on the RAMPART-A program, but agency spokesperson Vanee Vines offered this statement: “The fact that the U.S. government works with other nations, under specific and regulated conditions, mutually strengthens the security of all. NSA’s efforts are focused on ensuring the protection of the national security of the United States, its citizens, and our allies through the pursuit of valid foreign intelligence targets only.”
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