Greenwald: The NSA Has Trillions of E-mails and Phone Calls

by Betsy Woodruff

Is the NSA listening in on your phone calls? That’s what journalist Glenn Greenwald argued this morning on ABC’s This Week. He says The Guardian will soon publish a story showing the extent to which even low-level NSA analysts and private contractors have access to Americans’ personal emails and phone calls.

“The NSA has trillions of telephone calls and emails in their databases that they’ve collected over the last several years,” he told host George Stephanopoulos. “And what these programs are are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use. All an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things, it searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered.”

“It’s an incredibly powerful and invasive tool, exactly of the type Mr. Snowden described,” he added.

The House voted down an amendment last week that would have curtailed the NSA’s surveillance power. Some of the amendment’s opponents argued that the NSA’s invasiveness has been exaggerated.

Here’s Greenwald’s description of the program:

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