WikiLeaks reveals NSA recording ‘nearly all’ phone calls in Afghanistan

The NSA data nearly all home and worldwide phone calls in Afghanistan, much like what it does in the Bahamas, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange stated.

Reports in the Washington Post and the Intercept had beforehand reported that home and worldwide phone calls from two or extra goal states had been recorded and saved in mass as of 2013. Both publications censored the identify of 1 sufferer nation on the request of the US authorities, which the Intercept known as ‘Country X’.

Assange says he can’t disclose how WikiLeaks confirmed the id of the sufferer state for the sake of supply safety, although the declare may be “independently verified” through technique of “forensic scrutiny of imperfectly applied censorship on related documents released to date and correlations with other NSA programs.”

The Intercept, which Glenn Greenwald, who first broke the Edward Snowden revelations helped to discovered, had earlier named the Bahamas as having their cellular calls recorded and saved by a strong National Security Agency (NSA) program referred to as SOMALGET.

SOMALGET is a part of a broader NSA program referred to as MYSTIC, which the the NSA is utilizing to collect metadata – together with the numbers dialed and the time and length of the calls – from phone calls in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines. SOMALGET by its nature is way extra controversial, nevertheless, because it shops precise phone conversations for as much as 30 days.

WikiLeaks initially opted to not reveal the identify of ‘Country X’ as they have been led to consider it might “lead to deaths” by Greenwald. WikiLeaks later accused The Intercept and its mother or father firm First Look Media of censorship, saying they might go forward and publish the identify of the NSA-targeted nation.

“We do not believe it is the place of media to ‘aid and abet’ a state in escaping detection and prosecution for a serious crime against a population,” Assange stated in the assertion.

“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,” he stated.

Assange continued that their resolution to determine ‘Country X’ was not solely performed in order to supply efficient authorized treatments towards “the crime of mass espionage,” but in addition to stop harmless lives from being taken because of how covert surveillance is an element and parcel of the US drone program.

“We know from previous reporting that the National Security Agency’s mass interception system is a key component in the United States’ drone targeting program,” Assange stated.

“The US drone targeting program has killed thousands of people and hundreds of women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in violation of international law. The censorship of a victim state’s identity directly assists the killing of innocent people.”

Regarding the potential menace to human life, Assange continued that “false or overstated claims” is a often employed tactic by US officers to delay or altogether stifle publication.

Assange pointed to the 2010 instance of the now Infamous WikiLeaks launch of diplomatic cables, in which the US State Department “falsely claimed” would “place in danger the lives of numerous harmless people.” He continued that the Pentagon had additionally repeated this unsubstantiated declare.

“To this day we are not aware of any evidence provided by any government agency that any of our eight million publications have resulted in harm to life,” Assange stated.

He added that in 2013, US officers have been compelled to confess below oath that they had been unable to seek out proof substantiating the declare, with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitting that official response to the publications had been”significantly overwrought.”

According to The Intercept, 5 nations are being monitored utilizing MYSTIC, two with full content material audio and three the place telephony metadata is collected. The Washington Post, nevertheless, famous {that a} six nation can also be below the NSA’s cross hairs, although surveillance operations won’t but be operational.

The assortment of phone dialog audio will not be restricted to the Bahamas and Afghanistan. In March, John Inglis, then serving as NSA Deputy Director, advised the Los Angeles Times that the NSA tracks and data each e-mail, textual content message, and phone-location sign despatched in Iraq.


This will not be the primary time it has been revealed mass surveillance was being performed on Afghanistan by the NSA. According to a e book launched by Der Spiegel entitled ‘Der NSA Komplex’, a program referred to as ACIDWASH collects 30-40 million telephony metadata data per day from Afghanistan. ACIDWASH has been recognized as being a part of the MYSTIC program.

The NSA has up to now refused to touch upon this system, saying “the implication that NSA’s foreign intelligence collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false.” The company additional maintains that it follows procedures to “protect the privacy of US persons” whose communications are “incidentally collected.”