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NSA Can Record, Replay an Entire Country’s Phone Calls

March 18, 2014

NSA Can Record, Replay an Entire Country’s Phone Calls

March 18, 2014

By AFP

The National Security Agency has technology capable of recording all the phone calls of an entire country and replaying them later, a report based on leaked documents said Tuesday.

The Washington Post, citing documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, said the technology functions like a time machine by being able to reach into the past.

The report said the NSA can collect 100 percent of the calls of a country and reach as far back as one month with the tools called MYSTIC and RETRO.

The leaked documents say the tools can “retrieve audio of interest that was not tasked at the time of the original call.”

The Post said that at the request of U.S. officials, it withheld details that could be used to identify the country where the system is being used or other countries where it may be used in the future.

If details about it are accurate, and the spy agency really can tap into the entire network from a country, the program would be more powerful than any other known NSA program.

Dozens of documents leaked by Snowden have sparked outrage in the United States and abroad about the vast capabilities of the intelligence programs.

U.S. officials have defended the programs as needed to thwart terrorist attacks, but President Obama has ordered reforms for the surveillance programs.