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The NSA Is Collecting Your Email And Messaging Contacts, In Addition To The Messages



/ 3 years ago

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We already know the NSA collect electronic data on almost every aspect of people’s life, whether that data collection is justified or even legal is a another debate altogether. The latest revelation from the Washington Post suggests that the they also collect your address books and contact lists in many online services too. The slides revealed show that Yahoo Messenger is the biggest target followed by Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook and then other services. Of the nearly 700,000 address books the NSA is able to grab data on it says it can attribute 13.8% of those to people.

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The NSA conducts these address book grabs on foreign soil in an effort to bypass laws that require them to screen out American citizens. By doing it on foreign soil they can collect data on everyone, including Americans. The revelations have somewhat damaged the credibility of Yahoo as it doesn’t normally require users to have SSL encryption on its web mail and messaging services. From January 8th Yahoo will play catch up to Google and Facebook in offering encryption as standard in an effort to tighten security against dragnet surveillance. Of course encryption doesn’t prevent the NSA from finding a way in but it makes their job a lot harder.

Image courtesy of The Washington Post


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  • Skidmarks

    Just about everybody’s up in arms about the NSA and rightly so but if you aren’t breaking any laws then you should have nothing to fear, not that I condone their sneaky underhanded methods but somehow I don’t think they all that interested in us whispering sweet nothings in each others ears. Mind you, you never know.

    • Keade

      ‘If you aren’t breaking any laws then you should have nothing to fear’

      This may be true, but it’s a slippery slope. Once it’s acceptable in public opinion for the government to have a copy of every email you send, everyone you contact, it’s too late. You are effectively saying to the government ‘I give you permission to watch everything I do’. This will only speed up our seemingly inevitable progression to a 1984 style situation, where you have ‘freedom’ if you are happy being observed, analysed all the time, follow every law blindly, and turn a blind eye to every action the government takes.

      It’s now we need to protest against this, for the sake of our future generation’s privacy.

      As Benjamin Franklin once said, those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

      • Skidmarks

        The sad thing is we’ve all been under surveillance for a long time, we just did’t know it.

      • TwsT

        Slippery slope we embarked on along time ago, the patriot act was the beginning of the end for civil liberties no point complaining now.