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November 14, 2013
CIA collects global data on transfers of money
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) role in the surveillance scandal has been mostly muted. Now, according to two reports by U.S. media, the CIA is able to acquire vast amounts of financial data and money transfer information handled by U.S. companies, in efforts to track terrorist funding activities.
Operating under the same provisions of the Patriot Act that the NSA uses to acquire data, it's not explicitly clear if Americans' data was collected and inspected by the spy agency. It's expected further Snowden leaks will reveal far more about the system.
- Read more: CIA collecting bulk data on money transfers, reports say (CNET)
Image: Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
November 17, 2013
Snowden cache reveals diplomats' hotel bookings being tracked by GCHQ
In a perhaps bizarre twist, British agents at GCHQ are slated to have bugged around 350 hotels around the world used by diplomats in order to get the inside track of what foreign governments are talking about behind closed doors.
Under the program dubbed ROYAL CONCIERGE, the program has been in operation since 2010. The program also monitors hotel-booking systems that allow the U.K. and U.S. governments to keep tabs on where diplomats are heading. The names of the hotels were not released, but documents seen by Der Spiegel said telephones, computers, and fax machines in hotel rooms were bugged and wiretap-enabled.
- Read more: Snowden cache reveals diplomats' hotel bookings being tracked by GCHQ (The Guardian)
Source: Der Spiegel
November 19, 2013
FISA court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time
The secret FISA court, which authorizes U.S. government surveillance actions, released on the instructions of U.S. intelligence community chief James Clapper a legal opinion that allowed the NSA to collect even more data on Americans, despite finding the agency exceeding its powers and capabilities.
Even though one of the FISA judges recounted a number of problems with the smaller NSA programs, wider scale programs were nonetheless approved. According to the documents, metadata -- the information around messages but not the messages themselves, did not enjoy Fourth Amendment protections
- Read more: FISA court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time (The Guardian)
Image: White House/Flickr