U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say

“The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials,” Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani report for The Washington Post.

“By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from among hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans,” Gellman and Soltani report. “The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot.”

“According to a top secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, NSA’s acquisitions directorate sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters,” Gellman and Soltani report. “In the preceding 30 days, the report said, field collectors had processed and sent back 181,280,466 new records — ranging from ‘metadata,’ which would indicate who sent or received e-mails and when, to content such as text, audio and video.”

“The infiltration is especially striking because the NSA, under a separate program known as PRISM, has front-door access to Google and Yahoo user accounts through a court-approved process,” Gellman and Soltani report. “The MUSCULAR project appears to be an unusually aggressive use of NSA tradecraft against flagship American companies. The agency is built for high-tech spying, with a wide range of digital tools, but it has not been known to use them routinely against U.S. companies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: United States Constitution, Amendment IV:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Join The Electronic Frontier Foundation in calling for a full congressional investigation here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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      1. Yeah … but don’t forget that the warning of danger was when the canaries keeled over dead.

        With apologies to Monty Python –

        It’s not pining, it’s passed on. This canary is no more! It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late canary. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies. Its rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-canary.

        So … look out for a spate of dead crazy bunker guys

  1. And where is the NRA and gun advocates now regarding protection of constitutional rights? By the way boys and girls of the NRA, the government didn’t need you to register your cache of arms as they know you have them already. Oh, and about defending yourself when they come to get your guns, one well placed missile from a drone will negate their need to deal with you. Be paranoid as you truly are being watched.

    1. Where are the NRA and gun advocates? Right in the front lines. Apparently you haven’t been paying attention.

      Sorry, about 75% of my guns are unknown to the government. Purchased way before any registration or background checks, or legally avoiding them through legal face-to-face, in-state private transfers.

      The success of the 2nd Amendment doesn’t depend on the citizens defeating a standing government military. It depends on despotism being so messy politically and practically, because of an armed citizenry, that it’s not thinkable (yet). The largest army in America, by far, takes the field every Fall. It’s known as “deer season”.

  2. What! It is against the law period. I do not want a “full congressional investigation”. I want it stopped now. This group of clowns in DC have crippled the names and honor of many American companies now to the point that people here and overseas would rather avoid using American products and services because they fear what is now documented American government hacking and intrusion into their personal and professional lives. When the President says that America will put a stop to looking at other leaders in other countries and sees no problem violating the Constitution by boldly searching any and all general American citizens personal “papers and effects”, there is a problem in the homeland.

    Do you investigate an on going crime or put a stop to it? If a police officer came upon a rape of a woman, should they start an investigation or stop the attack? We are way past the point of investigating if there is a crime going on now and the government isn’t even denying it is happening. Stop the criminal act and “investigate” it later with some prison time please!

          1. botvinnik = troll … I love that!

            Sometimes electro you really annoy me with your profound dislike of conversational talk, so, I find this funny -The term “profane” originates from classical Latin “profanus” –

            “Haha, he said anus” …

            Yes, thank you Nelson.

    1. George, your idea would be great if:

      1) impeachment accomplished anything useful
      2) your Congress actually represented YOU instead of corporations, i.e., the “military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower warned us all about
      3) the current administration actually changed anything. Far from it, practically everything that any previous administration started, Obama has continued unchanged.
      4) back to Congress: they are the ones supposedly holding “secret courts”, and they are the ones who write legislation.

      The executive doesn’t have significant choice in most programs; he is supposed to execute all past laws that Congress has passed with the budget Congress grants. Just look at the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary spending in any proposed budget. Often, noble causes are so underfunded that they have no choice but to be ineffective — earmarks, social programs, and wasteful military largesse soak up too much.

      Moreover, any executive of any organization with ANY political persuasion will ALWAYS have a list of things to do that is longer than the budget allows. Thanks to the paranoia spread in the wake of 2001’s tragedy, the NSA was considered a cheap way to enhance security (regardless of its need), and it is Congress that wrote the bill. Bush signed it, and as I mentioned before, Obama simply continued what was already in operation. What Americans should be doing is writing letters to their congressmen daily, if not hourly, to demand that any agency with the words “Security Agency” be immediately dismantled, de-funded, and permanently banned via constitutional amendment. Free people do not need nannies. Corporations, always on the lookout for profits, are the ones that benefit from such paranoid policies. Almost ALL large-scale programs undertaken by the federal government since WW2 have been first and foremost gifts to for-profit companies, many of them multinational, instead of driven by citizen need or desire. Doesn’t matter the political party.

      Only the American people are going to end the current endless, ill-defined “War on Terror” with its never-ending list of enemies and draconian NSA, TSA, etc. When Americans throw the oversized yoke of the Pentagon and insatiable security complexes off their shoulders, they will discover no sudden national vulnerability, and might even see the realistic opportunity for a balanced budget. It would be a better step than grinding all political progress to a halt, as the current idiots in Congress have done not just this autumn but for the past 10+ years.

      …now watch as the partisans on this forum and elsewhere attempt to tear each other apart and shoot pot-shots at one stupid politician or another instead of proposing pragmatic solutions. You get what you vote for.

  3. What! …you all think that the actual president has any choice in this?
    The back room boys could squash him like a tick, anytime.
    Time to take off the shades, see the size of the dung hill and grow up.

          1. For the worse –

            Lee Harvey Oswald
            Vlad Dracula
            Joseph Stalin
            Adolf Hitler
            Pol Pot
            Idi Amin
            Ivan the Terrible
            Mao Zedong
            Tomas de Torquemada
            Leopold II of Belgium
            Genghis Khan
            Attila the Hun
            Emperor Hirohito
            Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
            Kim Il Sung
            Maximilien Robespierre
            Adolf Eichmann
            Heinrich Himmler
            Saddam Hussein
            Osama bin Laden
            Reinhard Heydrich
            Josef Mengele
            Talat Pasha
            Elizabeth Bathory

            For the better –

            Steve Jobs
            Abraham Lincoln
            Benjamin Franklin
            Mikhail Gorbachev
            Nelson Mandela
            Albert Einstein
            Marie Curie
            Thomas Jefferson
            Martin Luther King
            William Shakespeare
            Leonardo da Vinci
            Helen Keller
            Rosa Parks
            Mother Teresa
            Mahatma Gandhi
            Winston Churchill
            Tom Paine
            Jane Goodall
            Anne Frank
            Swami Vivekananda
            George Orwell
            John M Keynes
            Marcus Aurelius
            William Blake
            John Keats
            Raisa Gorbachev
            Eleanor Roosevelt
            Woodrow Wilson
            Leo Tolstoy
            Sri Krishna
            Louis PasteuRumi
            Charles Darwin
            Barack Obama
            C S Lewis
            Martin Luther
            Edward Jenner
            Sir Isaac Newton
            14th Dalai Lama
            Pablo Picasso
            Desmond Tutu
            Jesse Owens
            John F. Kennedy
            Sri Chinmoy
            St Teresa of Avila
            Abbe Pierre
            Sri Aurobindo
            Annie Besant
            Emile Zatopek
            St Therese Lisieux
            J R R Tolkien
            Emily Dickinson
            Betty Williams
            Paramhansa Yogananda
            Maharishi Mahesh yogi
            Eva Peron
            Sir Titus Salt
            Augn San Suu Kyi
            Dietrich Bonhoeffer
            Harriet Becher Stow
            Kofi Annan
            Millicent Fawcett
            Maya Angelou
            Malala Yousafzai

  4. I find it a bit hypocritical that everyone bitches and moans about the NSA monitoring yours, mine and practically everyones online communications for potential terrorist activity but no one has a problem with big business actually USING that exact same data for profit, selling and trading it to whoever’s willing. Perhaps if NSA actually PAID Yahoo, Google, whomever for this data, THEN would people settle down?

  5. Wait wait what???
    This is what I react to. I’m the US media reporting it seems totally ok to spy on foreigners even allays… But Americans…. No no… If you are going to spy at least spy on yourself and don’t subject any one else… There should be grave sanctions imposed by Russia, EU and China on the US for this…

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