New claims of NSA surveillance programs that monitor 75pc of US internet traffic

21 Aug 2013

PRISM is not be the only mass surveillance weapon in the US National Security Agency (NSA)’s arsenal – new evidence has emerged of similar programs code-named Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew are capable of gathering data from 75pc of all US internet traffic.

The filtering programs are designed to scour all communications that either begin or end abroad but can be used to monitor domestic communications in the US.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the filters are applied at more than a dozen major internet junctions in the US.

The details of the surveillance programs were gathered from current and former intelligence officials, as well as workers from various telecoms companies.

Rather than focus on each and every conversation, the programs are understood to use complex algorithms that know which bits of information to capture.

The NSA programs are approved and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The revelation comes on the heels of major revelations by rogue NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is in hiding in Russia.

Snowden revealed the existence of PRISM, a major program that taps into the servers of major internet companies, like Google, Facebook and Apple. He also revealed the existence of Xkeyscore, a system for rifling through vast databases and social media, and a major UK intelligence operation called Tempora that spies on global fibre networks.

Surveillance image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years