The All-powerful State
There is no doubt that these restrictions will be needed as a vehicle to enforce the mark of the beast. There will be seen a strong-grip control over everything - banking, buying, selling, communications, and travel. We are seeing more and more of this everyday. It's all part of the apparatus needed to control the people. -Advent Messenger Commentary
NSA Can Retrieve, Replay Phone Calls
March 18, 2014
by Rob Lever
Washington (AFP) - America's National Security Agency has technology that is capable of recording the phone calls of an entire country and replaying them later, a report based on leaked documents said Tuesday.
The Washington Post, citing papers released by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, said the eavesdropping agency's equipment 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 target country, reaching as far back as one month with tools called MYSTIC and RETRO. The leaked documents say the technology can "retrieve audio of interest that was not tasked at the time of the original call."
If true, the program would be more powerful than any other that the NSA has, allowing the spy agency to tap into the entire network from a country. Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union called the report "a truly chilling revelation."
"The NSA has always wanted to record everything, and now it has the capacity to do so," Jaffer said in a statement.
"The question now is simply whether we have the political will to impose reasonable limits on the NSA's authority – that is, whether we have the political will to protect our democratic freedoms."
Zeke Johnson at Amnesty International USA said: "The NSA is making George Orwell seem unimaginative. If true, this latest revelation should be a clarion call for reform."
The National Security Agency did not confirm or deny the report but said in a statement that its electronic spying was not "arbitrary," and noted that its methods respect laws and the privacy rights of Americans and foreigners.
US officials have defended the tactics as necessary to thwart terror attacks, though President Barack Obama has ordered reforms for the surveillance programs.
Documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed widespread surveillance of individuals and institutions in the United States and around the world.