According to wall street journal research, the powerful foreign intelligence agency has continued the total information awareness program stopped by congress in 2003
After 11.9. Darpa launched a comprehensive surveillance program, presumably exuberantly but carelessly calling it the total information awareness program (tia). The idea was to consolidate data from as many databases as possible and search them for suspicious patterns. It was no use to rename the project to terrorist awareness program, the congressmen went too far and they cut off the funds in september 2003).
Logo of the tia program
However, this was done on the condition that individual programs of tia were continued under a different name. It was unknown until 2005 that the u.S. Government had established the nsa intelligence agency shortly after 9/11.9. The u.S. Government had secretly ordered the nsa to intercept telephone and internet communications, including those of u.S. Citizens, without judicial authorization from the fisa court. They obtained the data from the telecom and internet providers that the bush administration still wants to protect from lawsuits and is demanding retroactive immunity from prosecution in the planned rewrite of the fisa law. Still the deputies oppose this demand.
While it was initially claimed that only a few were intercepted and that this only affected communications to or from certain countries, it gradually became known that the scope of the eavesdropping operation was much larger. It was soon suspected that the nsa could have intercepted all communications and searched them for suspicious patterns or clues (the wiretapping scandal widens). In 2006, it had become known that the nsa was storing at least the call data of all domestic conversations from the rough telephone companies (comprehensive eavesdropping on u.S. Burgers). The bush administration now called the eavesdropping "terrorist surveillance program", because until now one could be sure that almost everything would be passed by congress if it was supposed to serve the fight against terrorism.
In mid-2007, a letter from then-senior intelligence director mike mcconnell aroused new suspicions. Mcconnell wrote to a congressman that u.S. President bush, after the 11.9. Had started a number of eavesdropping programs, but the nsa program was the only one that could be talked about (after all, it had already been uncovered). What other programs continued to operate behind the backs of congress remained unknown for the time being.
The wall street journal now reports that the nsa has secretly implemented a program very similar to the tia project. Parts of tia were also taken over for this purpose. This was secretly financed by "slush funds", which congress cannot control. The background to the article is discussions with intelligence officials who are concerned that the nsa is intruding too far into the private lives of u.S. Citizens and that the foreign intelligence service is increasingly breaking down the boundaries between foreign and domestic surveillance. This is also evident, they say, in increasing cooperation between the fbi and the nsa.
The secret service has much more access to communication, financial and travel data of u.S. Citizens than has become known so far. According to the newspaper, the nsa can obtain, without judicial authorization, the connection data of email communications, observe who visits what websites and performs what searches, view connection data, length and location of cell phone conversations, connection data and length of telephone conversations, information about bank accounts, wire transfers and credit card use, and information about air travel.
According to the wall street journal, the treasury department gave the nsa access to the database of worldwide financial transactions about 15 years ago. Thus, the secret service has long been able to see which domestic and foreign money flows take place between bank accounts, and had an insight into credit card data. The nsa had stored the data it had taken in its own database, and after 11.9. To stop following up on specific leads and start searching across the board. Through the treasury department, the nsa was also able to access the society for worldwide interbank financial telecommunication (swift) data on international transactions (financial eavesdropping). Until now, it was only known that the cia had access to the data. This too had already led to heavy criticism. However, the eu commission has subsequently approved the transfer, and swift has given arances that it will pay greater attention to data protection. Apparently, the nsa also has access to the data of airline passengers.
It is interesting not only what the nsa has access to, but also what it does with the countless data. Even though the secret service has been complaining for years that it is overwhelmed by the flood of data, according to informants from secret service circles, enormous amounts of emails, internet searches, bank transfers, credit card bookings, travel data and telephone connections are stored and searched for suspicious patterns, which then lead to clues for other secret services or to new eavesdropping activities at home and abroad. According to the newspaper’s informants, work is also being done with so-called "black programs", whose existence has not been disclosed. It is estimated by insiders that the nsa spends a billion dollars a year for the search of data.