VentureBeat reports Edward Snowden's latest relevations reveal the NSA can basically see nearly everything you do online. According to the whistleblower, the XKeyscore program enables the NSA to wiretap anyone, almost instantly. They can also see your real-time Internet activity, read your e-mail, monitor your Facebook, and get your IP address by searching for visitors to any specified site. In a statement to the Guardian, the NSA did not deny any of the capabilities Snowden claims it has, but denied that XKeyscore was accessible to all analysts and said that it was a “lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system". This system is different from PRISM and requires no court order whatsoever.
The evidence that Snowden provided to The Guardian is compelling: vast quantities of screenshots that show training materials and actual applications that the NSA has built to enable armchair James Bonds, AKA intelligence analysts, to sort and sift through a vast database of 850 billion events and 150 billion Internet records, with 20+ terabytes being added daily.
Essentially, it’s armchair surveillance via WYSIWYG drag-and-drop menus. If we can believe what we’re hearing.
That “if” is rather crucial.
There are only two ways the NSA could amass such huge amounts of unencrypted data: by intercepting everything at the ISP level and decrypting in almost-real time any HTTPS or otherwise encrypted transmissions, or by having backdoors in dozens if not thousands of companies’ systems to access data on a regular and continuous basis.