The latest disclosures from Edward Snowden show the National Security Agency is recording every single phone call of an undisclosed foreign country. A surveillance system called ”MYSTIC” stores billions of phone conversations for up to 30 days. Phone calls are also being recorded in another four countries on a more limited basis. The Washington Post has withheld naming the targeted countries at the U.S. government’s request. At the White House, Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to comment.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “I haven’t seen the report, and I don’t have a response to it, except to say that we don’t, as a general rule, comment on every specific allegation or report. You know, we make clear what activity the NSA and our intelligence activity — our intelligence community engages in, and the fact that they are bound by our laws and the oversight of three branches of government.”
The MYSTIC operation has been in effect since 2009. In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union criticized the program, saying: “This is a truly chilling revelation, and it’s one that underscores how high the stakes are in the debate we’re now having about bulk surveillance. The NSA has always wanted to record everything, and now it has the capacity to do so.”