NSA mass surveillance leaks: Timeline of events to date

NSA mass surveillance leaks: Timeline of events to date

Summary: The U.S. government mass surveillance scandal may be the biggest ongoing story of the year. In this updating timeline, you can explore the full scope of the Edward Snowden leaks, which have implicated the world's most powerful nations in the worldwide spying operation.

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  • October 30, 2013

    NSA accused of tapping links between Yahoo, Google datacenters

    The next big leak from the Snowden files was the revealing of a new NSA project, codenamed MUSCULAR, which suggests the U.S. spy agency was tapping into the links between Google and Yahoo datacenters worldwide, including Americans' data.

    The U.S. also works with its British counterparts at GCHQ to intercept cables that span across the Atlantic.

    Data, which is sapped from the private optical cables between the technology giants' datacenters, is siphoned off and sent back to the agency's Fort Meade headquarters. In the preceding 30 days, the agency collected 181 million new records alone, including metadata -- such as traffic records and details relating to customer data -- as well as the contents of communications. 

    Read more: Meet 'Muscular': NSA accused of tapping links between Yahoo, Google datacenters (ZDNet)

    Image: European Union

    Source: The Washington Post

  • October 31, 2013

    NSA hid spy equipment at embassies, consulates

    Another revelation that focuses more on the diplomatic side of snooping than the wider civilian population, new documents show the NSA hid surveillance equipment at its embassies and consulates abroad.

    The NSA's Special Collection Service dubbed the program STATEROOM, which allows the agency to monitor microwave, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, GSM, CDMA, and satellite signals in over 80 worldwide. The spy equipment is located at the U.S., the U.K., Canadian and Australian embassies and consulates in various major cities. 

    In some cases, the buildings are modified to conceal such rooftop equipment. "For example, antennas are sometimes hidden in false architectural features or roof maintenance sheds," the documents state. 

    Image: Wikimedia Commons

    Source: Der Spiegel

  • November 4, 2013

    Google's Eric Schmidt calls NSA's spying 'outrageous'

    In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt called the NSA's spying operation -- specifically the agency's ability to acquire data between its datacenters -- as "outrageous."

    It follows earlier leaks that showed project MUSCULAR was able to tap into connections between Google and Yahoo's global datacenters. Schmidt also called the allegations that the intelligence agency may have acted illegally, by "collect[ing] the phone records of every phone call of 320 million people in order to identify roughly 300 people who might be a risk."

    Image: Wikimedia Commons

    Source: The Wall Street Journal

Topics: Security, Government US, Government UK

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30 comments
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  • 79 pageloads?

    Really? No thanks. It's a shame, would have been interesting to read.
    -nihilist-
    • There's a single slide link

      If you're interested. On the first slide -- at the bottom. See? Not much, but I hate slideshows as much as anyone else.
      zwhittaker
  • 79 pageloads?

    Really? No thanks. It's a shame, would have been interesting to read.
    -nihilist-
  • Those who sacrifice liberty for security will lose both...

    And we've let the NSA and FISA trample over our civil liberties.

    At this point, we get to complain while out elected representatives lean over and hand more of our Constitutional rights to spy agencies.

    At least someone in the US Government listens...24/7...without a warrant.

    http://www.reagencydesign.com/collections/54275-all-products/products/1673274-nsa-were-still-listening-s-xl
    Ad Astra
  • What Liberty is being sacrificed?

    I've heard it said by many, yet they haven't been able to tell me what liberty they're sacrificing.
    William.Farrel
    • Freedom of speech.

      freedom of association
      freedom of travel
      freedom from unwarranted search and seizure
      freedom from secret laws
      freedom from secret arrest
      right to a speedy and public trial
      right to face your accuser

      Evidently you skipped civics class in high school.
      jessepollard
      • I didn't know that

        They stopped your freedom of association? Who did they not let you hang out with?

        They stopped your freedom of travel? Where did they stop you from going?

        They stopped your freedom from unwarranted search and seizure? What did they take from you?

        They stopped your freedom from secret laws? Who says that's something you ever had or were granted, but then again, no such thing as a secret law. That's like saying there's a secret clause in a contract you didn't know about but have to adhere to.

        They stopped your freedom from secret arrest? No such thing as a secret arrest, if you understand what an "arrest" is.

        They stopped your right to a speedy and public trial? No such thing as a secret trial. As for speedy, they don't do that in public, either.

        They stopped your right to face your accuser? That happens in the secret trial, remember?

        Nice thing about claiming all this "secret" stuff -you don't have to prove your side of the argument, claiming "well duh - it's all secret, that's why you don't hear about it".

        Evidently I didn't skip civics class in high school, but I'm wondering if you did.
        William.Farrel
        • re: I didn't know that

          > They stopped your freedom of association?

          It's called "chilling effect" and it's been used by the SCOTUS to strike down laws that don't directly prohibit the exercise of a right (like freedom of association) but do discourage people from exercising it for fear of legal repercussions.

          If you know for a fact the government is monitoring your associations, you're going to think about that before you make any new ones you have a perfectly legal right to make but which the government may not like.

          And BTW, you are correct there are no secret laws, per se. However the DoJ's interpretations of some laws are, in fact, secret and classified. So the effect is the same as secret laws.
          none none
        • They stopped freedom of travel with "watch lists"

          And once you are on one, you can't get off.
          jessepollard
        • They stopped your freedom from unwarranted search and seizure

          when you can no longer travel with laptops.

          They can seize them at any time - train, bus, plane...

          And sometimes you never get them back.
          jessepollard
          • That's weird...

            "They stopped your freedom from unwarranted search and seizure when you can no longer travel with laptops."
            -------------------------------

            That's weird... I travel with a laptop all the time.
            Hallowed are the Ori
          • Keep sucking down the coolAid until the gestapo knocks on your door.

            Are you awake or in a coma from watching to much faux fantasy?
            Reality Bites
        • No such thing as a secret trial...

          All they do is claim "national security", and there are no public views. No public review, no access to the evidence, and essentially, no representation other than what is provided for you.
          jessepollard
          • In Federal Court...

            there are even things called "sealed evidence" wherein the Judge is to rule on without even seeing it.
            SmartAceW0LF
        • They stopped your right to face your accuser?

          "That happens in the secret trial, remember?"

          No, it doesn't - at least according to the reports from the few people that managed to get out.

          Secret trial remember? - you aren't allowed to see the evidence, remember? And you certainly can't have your council interview the accuser (classified remember?).
          jessepollard
          • another one from your Federal Courts...

            you no longer have the right to face your accuser if that individual's identity needs to remain a secret pending further investigations. And all of this has nothing to do with national security whatsoever. These are the standard fare we all live under in the Federal Jurisdiction. Oh, there's plenty more the better portion of citizens of this country are clueless about in that realm.
            SmartAceW0LF
        • "Evidently I didn't skip civics class in high school"

          You must have slept through it then, as you didn't learn anything.
          jessepollard
        • lol microsoft troll doesn't give up...

          ...of course.
          he got instructions to bark.
          veryevilempire
        • You don't understand do you? Perhaps when you mature you'll get it.

          It would take much too long to break the story down to simple enough terms that you could grasp it.

          Try getting out a little more.
          Reality Bites
    • oh look, microsoft troll is algo government troll...

      ...its no wander since microsoft is in bed with government since at least 1990-is.

      it's not called "evil empire" for nothing.
      veryevilempire