The US National Security Agency (NSA) is recording “every single” phone conversation in an undisclosed foreign country, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The article suggests that the NSA system can store billions of conversations which may be played back up to 30 days later.
A senior manager for the program compared it to time machine that can replay voices from any phone call, according to the Post.
The newspaper cited unnamed sources with direct knowledge of
the system as well as documents supplied by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The voice interception program is known as MYSTIC. The Post reports that its “retrospective retrieval” capability reached full strength against the first target nation in 2011. But we don’t know which nation that is.
Civil liberties activists condemned the system.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, responded to reporters at his regular news briefing on Tuesday, saying that “we don’t, as a general rule, comment on every specific allegation or report.”
“We make clear what activity the NSA and … our intelligence community engages in, and the fact that they are bound by our laws and the oversight of three branches of government,” Carney told reporters.
Carney also noted that President Barack Obama announced a series of steps in January to “significantly reform our activity.”