Snowden: NSA program MYSTIC culls 100 percent of phone records from foreign country

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The Edward Snowden leaks keep coming, this time with the accusation that an NSA program called MYSTIC culls 100 percent of an unnamed nation’s phone calls, which can then be retrieved any time during the course of 30 days.

Such a program would be a first time that an entire nation’s phone calls were netted by an NSA program, National Journal reported.


SEE ALSO: Snowden: NSA uses fake Facebook to hack into users’ computers


An NSA spokesman contacted National Journal and asserted that “all of NSA’s operations must be strictly conducted under the rule of law,” while also acknowledging that individuals “have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information.”

MYSTIC and its “retrospective retrieval” capabilities has been in existence since 2009, with one unnamed official telling The Washington Post that the program’s “RETRO” system operated like a “time machine […] into the past.”

News of MYSTIC comes just one week after NSA leaker Edward Snowden alleged that the spy agency also uses fake Facebook pages to trick individuals into giving up information. The program, called QUANTUMHAND, transmits malicious data packets that fool the target’s computer into thinking they are legitimately from Facebook, enabling the NSA to access the target’s computer and the data from its hard drive.

Facebook denied having any knowledge of the NSA program to National Journal.

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