• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:39am
Edward Snowden

WikiLeaks vows to reveal second country where NSA is recording all mobile phone calls

WikiLeaks to name second country where the NSA is said to be recording the content of phone calls, despite warnings from Glenn Greenwald that this could “lead to deaths”

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 6:53pm

WikiLeaks has pledged to reveal the name of a second country that is having virtually all of its mobile phone calls recorded by the US National Security Agency, despite a warning that leaking the information could "lead to deaths".

The pledge came after The Intercept revealed that the Bahamas and one other country were having most of their mobile calls recorded and stored by a powerful NSA program called SOMALGET.

While the Bahamas was named, the identity of the mystery second country was kept hidden.

Greenwald, who first broke the Edward Snowden story to the world, had said on Twitter the decision not to reveal the name was made because "we were *very convinced this 1 would --> [lead to] deaths".

On Tuesday morning WikiLeaks posted a tweet that stated: "@GGreenwald @johnjcook We will reveal the name of the censored country whose population is being mass recorded in 72 hours."

In addition to the revelations about the Bahamas and the mystery country, The Intercept said the NSA was using a separate program, MYSTIC, to scoop up metadata - raw data that does not include actual conversations - from phone calls in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines.

It is SOMALGET, however, that is sure to cause the biggest controversy, as actual conversations are stored for up to 30 days before the agency wipes them.

The Washington Post previously reported that although only a small fraction of calls are actually listened to by human analysts, millions of voice clips are still kept and sent to long-term storage.

Documents published on The Intercept website reveal the agency’s enthusiasm for SOMALGET, saying that it can “buffer full-take audio collection” as a means to “make possible remarkable new ways of performing both target development and target discovery”.

The use of SOMALGET in the Bahamas and the mystery country whose name is redacted, the document's authors claim, “has led to the discovery of international narcotics traffickers and special-interest alien smugglers”.

And in a worrying statement, the document goes on to recommend the use of the surveillance system in other locations. “With proper engineering and coordination there is little reason this capability cannot expand to other accesses," it states.

Watch: Glenn Greenwald spoke with The Post about Snowden saga in 2013

The NSA previously attempted to justify its “metadata” trawling as a means to identify threats to US national security such as terrorism. But the documents indicate that mobile network data can be used as a method of pursuing criminals in conjunction with the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Whether WikiLeaks, established by editor-in-chief Julian Assange in 2006, is actually capable of supplying the name of the country remains to be seen.

WikiLeaks is not believed to have full access to Snowden’s leaked NSA documents.

The site's promise has generated heated discussion online as to the identity of the nation in question and the morality of revealing its identity if lives could indeed be at stake.

Publishing the identity of the second country may further undermine the NSA’s claim that it acts purely in America’s defence but, if fatalities do occur as Greenwald warned, WikiLeaks credibility as a responsible publisher of restricted information could be thrown into question.


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This article is now closed to comments

Wikileaks will lose credibility for revealing an injustice?
Thats great we talk about credibility now, what about the Iraq war #2? What about gulf of tonken?
How many american leaders openly lie then slaughter people?
Does this hurt our credibility? You dont need credibility when you threaten the entire world with murder.
I Gandhi
The NSA is recording all mobile phone calls in Bahamas and Cuba.
Yes Obama is the best, if the best means the first to claim the right to, and to actually target and drone kill American citizens without due process.
A Matsui
The second country where the NSA is recording all mobile phone calls is Japan. Snake Obama doesn't trust the crazy Japanese like Shinzo Abe.
People confuse the Snowden issue when applying interception of calls and e-mails on an international stage. Snowden was significant because the United States Constitution prohibits what the NSA did to Americans in America.
The USA constitution does not provide any protection against interception of communications in foreign countries. That is called spying. All countries do it. China has clearly done it. Russia and France have been doing it since the cold war. Most countries do it to some extent when it serves their purposes.
The USA just seems to be doing it better and more often. And I warrant, it is not aggressive, but related to a fear (well founded since 9/11) of Terrorism. That is the reason so many countries have cooperated with the USA in these intercepts.
If we want to stop this, we need an international treaty prohibiting spying. Few countries would be a signatory to this. Instead, the real problem is that many many countries, especially in the Arab and Moslem world, ignore terrorism until it directly threatens them. So long as the terrorists are focused elsewhere, too many countries turn a blind eye to terrorism.
The USA can not be the protectors of the world against terrorism. The USA can no longer pay 90% of the cost, and send 90% of the troops, to terrorist infested regions of the world. It is time for the rest of the world to "step up" in the battle for terrorism.
David M. Ginsberg
America created its own terrorist threats and attacks by interfering in too many Muslim countries' internal politics for decades. The US Government only had itself to blame for 9/11. It then prosecutes illegal aggressive war against Iraq and Afghanistan, which were both unrelated to 9/11, and stirs the hornets nest even more. Were the US to have 'attacked' any country after 9/11 it should have been Pakistan or Saudi Arabia - but God forbid they actually take revenge against the real perpetrators. How can anyone plead sympathy for the US in this matter. The mind boggles.
Obama is just another useless stooge. He failed to deal with the real economic problems of the US. He should have banned the private banks from the ability to invent money out of thin air and nationalised the Fed. But no. So the USA will have yet another debt fuelled boom followed by yet another crash. And still the bankers roam free unimpeded by any meaningful legislation. Yeah, great President. Get a reality check dude.
But the US is allowed to spy on others and file charges against nations who spy on them? What is again the word how you call this?
Obama is worse than a scientolgist. Repeat after me Obama, "Angel". Not grey skinned alien.
Sorry Bahamas and other county's I'm sure its more than you I'm sure its a lot more country's.
Do you really think the power hungry politicians are going to stop
spying on each other and the people, to get dirt on them for there own elections. As long as there is tax dollars sent to the government there will be the NSA, and they will get stronger as time goes on and technology gets better. So I'm sure they will definitely continue spying on us.
Remember transparency by this US Government, so it will never stop. They will tell us that you the sheep, will stop watching you, the fact is as long as tax dollars are collected it will continue. I have been using ****Lookseek.com for about a year the non tracking private search engine to protect my privacy.



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