A computer with a series of numbers and the logo of the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration taken in Frankfurt October 28, 2013.
The National Security Agency collects information secretly from the flowing data between Google and Yahoo data centres, according to the Washington Post which referred to documents from Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor.
The project which handles those operations is called MUSCULAR. It operates with the help of GCHQ, the British counterpart of the agency. These agencies are able to copy the entire information which flows across the fibre-optic cables carrying data between Google and Yahoo data centres. They tapped into communication links directly for accessing an enormous amount of emails as well as other user data.
David Drummond, the chief legal officer of Google, said that the company had not been aware that such programme was taking place. Google is outraged at how far the government has apparently gone into intercepting information from the private fibre networks of the company, he said.
There have been about 181 million records amassed in just 30 days, the Washington Post reports. However, it is yet to be known how many U.S. residents had their accounts hacked. Nor was it confirmed how the agencies redacted information on them or the amount of data retained.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of NSA has issued a statement that it is untrue that the agency depends on the presidential order regarding foreign intelligence resources to avoid domestic restrictions which are imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and other such laws. The statement has also mentioned that the agency does not gather huge amounts of data from U.S. residents since NSA happens to be a foreign intelligence agency. It is stated that the agency focuses on determining as well as developing intelligence regarding foreign intelligence targets only.
NSA Director General Keith Alexander was asked about the Washington Post report at a recent event. He said that he had not been able to read the report, but the agency had no unconstrained access to the servers of the companies based in the U.S. He emphatically stated that the agency did not have any access to the servers of Google and Yahoo.
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