WASHINGTON -- Edward Snowden, the former defense-contractor-turned-classified-document-leaker, has received most attention in the United States for revealing wide-ranging government snooping into phone and Internet records. But the activities Snowden has exposed are not limited to inside the United States. His leaks also have made waves in Hong Kong, China and Great Britain. Heres a look at what hes alleged.
Verizon customer metadata
On June 5, The Guardian newspaper revealed a top-secret order issued in April by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court directing cellphone carrier Verizon to turn over millions of customers cellphone records to the National Security Agency on a daily basis until July 19, 2013. This metadata, while not containing actual content of calls, includes time and duration of calls along with numbers dialed.
PRISM Internet surveillance program
The Guardian and The Washington Post reveal June 6 a set of government PowerPoint slides that describe PRISM, a top-secret National Security Agency program that allows data collection from Internet giants Apple, Google and Facebook, among others. The slides show that collected data can include email, voice and video chats, and social networking details, and can also include special requests for additional information. The documents say that the data sweeps are run with cooperation from Internet companies, but both Google and Apple deny having knowledge of the PRISM program.
Boundless Informant analytics tool
On June 8, The Guardian, working with another document leaked by Snowden, reveals an NSA program called Boundless Informant, an analytics tool that can be used to analyze data on a country-to-country, program-to-program basis. By aggregating the enormous amount of data collected through the previously revealed programs, the Boundless Informant program reportedly stores surveillance information that the government previously said it didnt track. The documents also suggest that U.S. surveillance efforts could extend outside national borders.
NSA hacking of Chinese cellphone companies
On June 12, the South China Morning Post quoted Snowden as saying that the NSA has been hacking into Chinese cellphone companies to steal your SMS data. Claiming to have documentary proof, Snowden said that the NSA has snooped on targets both in Hong Kong and mainland China. Akin to the information NSA collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order in the United States, Snowden said that the surveillance programs allowed for the mass collection of user and text message information from Chinese cellphones.
British spying on diplomats at 2009 G20 Summit
On June 17, The Guardian reports that documents leaked by Snowden reveal that the British spy agency GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians communications at the 2009 London G20 summit with cooperation from the NSA. According to The Guardian, GCHQ breached security walls on delegates laptops and Blackberries to access emails and phone calls during the conference, and targeted South African, Turkish and Russian officials. Although other snooping programs have been justified as a means to crack down on international terrorism, The Guardian reports that the G20 summit spying appears to have been organized for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings.