FISA allows NSA to analyze inadvertently collected data
On June 20, The Guardian reported that top-secret documents spell out how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the NSA to analyze information that is mistakenly collected in data sweeps, suggesting that warrants are not always necessary to access the content of phone conversations and emails of U.S. citizens. In addition, the documents indicate that the U.S. government has discretion when it comes to determining if a targeted individual is inside the United States or outside its borders, which would allow for greater liberties in tracking. The reports run contrary to congressional testimony from NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander, who told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that any data mistakenly collected through NSA surveillance is immediately destroyed.
Fiber optic cables eavesdropping
On June 21, The Guardian reports that documents show a wide-ranging effort by Britains GCHQ to collect Internet and phone data from worldwide fiber optic cables. The British agency shares the information with the NSA, the paper reports. The report also points to a GCHQ program called Tempora, which allows mass amounts of data to be stored and analyzed. British Foreign Secretary William Hague defended the surveillance program and insisted that the GCHQ is well within the law and held accountable by democratic oversights. However, The Guardian reported that unnamed sources close to the organization said that their oversight is far less than that of the NSA.
Snowden says NSA has hacked Chinese computers
On June 23, The South China Morning Post reports that Snowdens leaks reveal attempts to hack into computers at Chinas Tsinghua University, one of the countrys premier research universities. Snowden, the Post reports, says that the NSA targeted Tsinghuas servers as recently as January. The reports also suggest that the NSA has hacked into computers at the Hong Kong-based submarine fiber optic cable network, Pacnet.