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Iran Press TV

NSA spied on 125bn phone calls in one month

Iran Press TV

Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:54AM GMT

The US National Security Agency monitored nearly 125 billion phone calls from around the world in just one month, including around 3 billion calls from US soil, according to documents released by whistleblower Edward J. Snowden.

The sheer extend of the NSA's data collection effort was compiled from multiple sources and organized on Wednesday by members of intelligence website Cryptome, which regularly publishes government documents and other information.

The majority of calls monitored by the NSA originated from Afghanistan and Pakistan, where 13.76 billion and 21.98 billion calls were respectively collected during January 2013, according to the Boundless Informant "heat map" revealed by the Guardian.

Billions of phone calls were also recorded from countries in the Middle East, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran and Jordan.

Additionally, some 6.28 billion calls from India were collected. An estimated 3 billion US phone communications were also tapped by the NSA.

Perhaps the most controversial element of the NSA spying program is efforts to collect phone data from Western nations that have friendly relations with the US.

Germany, France and several other countries have expressed concerns about US spying after Snowden, former NSA contractor, revealed classified information about US surveillance programs.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, admitted in July that Snowden's exposés have seriously damaged US ties with other countries. "There has been damage. I don't think we actually have been able to determine the depth of that damage."

AHT/ARA



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