NBC News has released some new information from documents it acquired via Edward Snowden, the media company has announced. According to the documents, which NBC has largely made available on its website, the NSA received a demonstration on real-time spying of Internet traffic via the United Kingdom’s GCHQ spy agency, specifically a division called Global Telecoms Exploitation.
The demonstration took place back in 2012, and was for a pilot program showing real-time snooping into data from YouTube, swiping information about the users and what videos were watched daily. The documents show that during that time in the program, they agency was also able to spy on data coming from Twitter and Facebook. The documents also mention monitoring Blogspot and Blogger visits.
According to experts to whom NBC News said it spoke, such real-time monitoring would require either tapping Internet cables or through a third-party of some sorts with access to large amounts of Internet traffic. Based on other Snowden documents that surfaced with mention of GTE, fiber optic cable tapping seems like the more likely cause of such data gathering.
Representatives for Google and Facebook were contacted, and stated no company permission for tapping user data was granted, and that the respective companies had no awareness of the alleged spying taking place. One Google source then told NBC that the Internet giant was “shocked” at news that GCHQ may have been/currently be pulling its data in such a manner.
SOURCE: NBC News