The National Security Agency (NSA) has collected large volumes of phone and Internet traffic that has crossed into or out of the United States in an eavesdropping program much more extensive than acknowledged by the Bush Administration, according to a New York Times article published on Friday.
In what has been described as a large data-mining operation, NSA analysts have allegedly gathered large amount of routing information from network data and e-mail messages in search of patterns that may aid terrorism investigations, the New York Times reported.
In addition to questions regarding the privacy of U.S. citizens, details of the program also raise issues about whether the U.S government has the right to tap data that merely passes through the country. Media reports from earlier this year suggested that the NSA was being positioned to be the nation's traffic cop.
In some ways, the program resembles the Total Information Awareness project scuttled by the Pentagon more than two years ago. That project, along with a successor run by the state of Florida and known as MATRIX, attempted to pull together disparate personal information to generate leads for terrorism investigations.
Posted by: Robert Lemos