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Listening in: U.S. monitors ALL cell phone calls made in and out of Afghanistan, the Bahamas

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/28/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Columnists say these nations are the victims of 'mass espionage'

Edward Snowden's revelations about the activities of the National Security Agency have been disappointing at the very slightest. From monitoring the cell phone calls of U.S. civilians, to the monitoring of cell phone calls of such - formerly staunch U.S. allies as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, news has just broken on how the U.S. is now monitoring ALL cell phone calls in and out of the Bahamas - and Afghanistan.

The National Security Agency, or NSA has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic and international phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013.

The National Security Agency, or NSA has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic and international phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
5/28/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: WikiLeaks, Afghanistan, Bahamas, monitoring, Google, cell phones


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Pierre Omidyar's national security blog, The Intercept, the U.S. is recording all telephone calls made in and out of the Bahamas - and until just recently revealed, Afghanistan.
 
As written by Omidyar, Ryan Devereaux, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, the story says that Intercept had decided not to name that second "country X" due to the risk of increased violence in response.

Hunger never takes a vacation --

The news cost some important friends. Former ally WikiLeaks, responded furiously. They "condemn[ed] Firstlook for following the Washington Post into censoring the mass interception of an entire nation." WikiLeaks then promised to name the redacted country within 72 hours.

"Country x" was later revealed to be Afghanistan.

The National Security Agency, or NSA has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic and international phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013.

Both the Washington Post and The Intercept (based in the U.S. and published by eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar) have censored the name of one of the victim states, which the latter publication refers to as country "X."

Both organizations stated that they had censored the name of the victim country at the request of the U.S. government.

"Such censorship strips a nation of its right to self-determination on a matter which affects its whole population. An ongoing crime of mass espionage is being committed against the victim state and its population," WikiLeaks declared.

"By denying an entire population the knowledge of its own victimization, this act of censorship denies each individual in that country the opportunity to seek an effective remedy, whether in international courts, or elsewhere. Pre-notification to the perpetrating authorities also permits the erasure of evidence which could be used in a successful criminal prosecution, civil claim, or other investigations."

WikiLeaks then pulled Google into the fight, pointing to a leaked cable apparently showing that "Google Idea's director Jared Cohen was tasked with getting Afghan telcos to move towers to U.S. bases when at DoS."

Cohen had previously worked as an advisor to both Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. He had been celebrated by the New York Times magazine for representing a new breed of tech-savvy bureaucrats.

By implication, WikiLeaks appears to be suggesting that Cohen's attempts to relocate Afghan cell towers within U.S. bases may have had a clandestine motive.

This implies that Cohen may be now working at Google. For its part, the Intercept has published no official statement in response to WikiLeaks' claims.

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