Two media outfits from the United Kingdom added a new link in the chain of leaks about the National Security Agency’s alleged spying activities, as they reported the agency collected nearly 200 million text messages per day from all around the world.
Channel 4 News and The Guardian both reported about the latest spying claim, the program Dishfire, which extracts SMS information ranging from simple missed call alerts, roaming location tracks, and travel alerts to vital data such as bank alerts, payments, electronic business cards, and financial information.
The database, according to reports, was in use as late as 2012, and the agency gathered information even from those who were not under suspicion.
The news agencies cited the leaks of ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. At the moment, the former contractor is charged with espionage in the US and is a fugitive in Russia.
The NSA admitted that some might have been “incidentally collected,” although they said they “remove extraneous data, to include that of innocent foreign citizens, as early as possible in the process.”
“The implication that NSA’s collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false,” said the intelligence agency.
The series of reports following Snowden’s leaks have sparked an international uproar and threatened the relationship of the US with its allies.