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NSA stores data to target any citizen at any time - Greenwald

Published time: October 29, 2013 13:56
Edited time: October 30, 2013 08:31

Glenn Greenwald (AFP Photo / Evaristo Sa)

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The current revelations on the NSA’s spying are just the tip of the iceberg and affect “almost every country in the world,” said Glenn Greenwald. He stressed the NSA stores data for “as long as it can,” so they can target a citizen whenever they want.

Glenn Greenwald, the man behind the reports on the NSA global spy program, spoke to El Mundo journalist German Aranda and stressed that the US espionage activities went much further than just Europe.

"There are a lot of countries, and journalists in a lot of different countries, who have been asking for stories and to work on documents for a long time," Greenwald said. He added that he was working as fast as possible to “make sure that all of these documents get reported in every single country there are documents for, which is most countries in the world.”

Shedding light on the NSA’s motives in compiling metadata on citizens, he said the spy organization’s main aim was to store the information to be able to dip into it whenever necessary.

"The very clear objective of the NSA is not just to collect all this, but to keep it for as long as they can," said Greenwald.

"So they can at any time target a particular citizen of Spain or anywhere else and learn what they've been doing, in terms of who they have been communicating with.”

‘Preparing the terrain’

Referencing reports leaked from former CIA worker Edward Snowden regarding the millions of phone calls tapped by the NSA in the EU, German Aranda stated that French reaction was “important to prepare the terrain in Spain.”

"With all the countries around Europe and around the world, it will be the same. The more countries [that] see documents about them, the more interest the other countries will have to see what is happening with them," said Aranda.

Last week the Spanish Prime Minister, Manuel Rajoy, summoned the US Ambassador to account for the reports of spying, echoing the reactions of France, Germany and a handful of other countries. Spain has so far resisted calls from Germany to sign an EU no-spying treaty against the US in the wake of the revelations; however this may be set to change.

"As in previous occasions, we've asked the U.S. ambassador to give the government all the necessary information on an issue which, if it was to be confirmed, could break the climate of trust that has traditionally been the one between our two countries," said Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, at a joint news conference in Warsaw last week.

In response to European leaders’ furor over NSA espionage, the White House has launched an internal review into the NSA’s activities. The EU Parliament has also threatened to halt the sharing of data on the SWIFT banking system, which provides information on the transfer of funds by suspected terrorists.

A delegation from the EU parliament is currently in Washington to discuss what has been described as a “breakdown in trust” between traditional allies.

The Obama administration earlier said the controversial intelligence gathering procedures that have attracted international scrutiny in recent months may require “additional constraints.” White House spokesperson Jay Carney said that a “number of efforts [are] underway that are designed to increase transparency.”

Comments (33)


john 31.10.2013 08:54

Greenwald is obviously trying to refocus people's attention on whats important which is not the obvious and expected intelligence targeting of high profile individuals but the mass collection of personal data on everyone.. Data that can be used out of context to blackmail, manipulate or simply eliminate anyone who becomes a problem to those whith access..


Michael P. Robb 30.10.2013 23:11

One stores data in databases using fields to differentiate the fields. SQL allows the user to query the data to find information about specific events. Each query can be unique and retrieve specific information depending on the SQL query.
The ISP of your computer is a primary key. The ISP of the website you are visiting is a primary key. The time is the unique bridge.
The activity has been recorded and shared by the EYES. That means the government knows every website we have been and for how long for years. Some citizens have been inspected illegally by the EYES.
This is not a new revelation, it is an explanation.


Davis-Guess Wendy 30.10.2013 11:32

[quote name='KbXJT41' time='29.10.2013 20:33']Logical-ameri can, thy name is "Naivety". Or perhaps "deliberately obtuse".

"Target them for what? Who's being persecuted by US intelligence?"

A deeper look at a road block, check point, airport, traffic stop, DMV, doctor's office, IRS, and the local LE who will see the list which if you end up on there even mistakenly, would take an act of God to get off "looking for trouble." Add it all up - including Obamacare, no real plans to bring jobs back, banks and financial institution free-for-all, politicians getting richer than stink..elimination of middle class, literally

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