Citing data, unveiled by famous wistleblower Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable sources, The Washington Post reported today that the NSA has hacked the cables two Internet searching giants use to shuttle information between their cloud databases.
Now the National Security Agency has at its disposal unfettered access to data from hundreds of millions of users.
A secret data from Jan. 9, 2013, shows that the agency reseives millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks and later sends it to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.
According to media reports, in the last month field collectors had examinated and sent back more about 200 million new records — ranging from “metadata,” which show adressees and senders of email letters and when, to content such as text, audio and video.
The news about the NSA’s stealing of Yahoo and Google’s data comes at a time when the U.S. lawmakers are discussing the government’s collection practices and authority, and as European governments are accusing the U.S. on spying on millions of communications in their countries.
“She made clear that she views such practices, if proven true, as completely unacceptable and condemns them unequivocally,” Merkel’s spokesperson told announced.
For its part, the White House denied the allegations, saying that the U.S. is listening in on Merkel’s phone calls now.
“The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
He went on, adding: “The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges.”
However, following a few days, it was discovered that Barack Obama allegedly allowed US intelligence to listen to calls from the German Chancellor’s mobile phone after he was briefed on the operation by Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), in 2010.
“Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue,” the German newspaper Bild quoted a senior NSA official as saying.
Obama apologized to Merkel via the phone on Wednesday, after she called the President, and he was adamant that he would have stopped the bugging if he had known about it. Mr. Obama assured Mrs. Merkel that her phone is not being monitored now – and will not be in future. But the US has pointedly declined to discuss the NSA’s actions in the past.
Peter King, a fellow Republican congressman, said that Mr. Obama should not apologize for NSA operations in Europe. “The president should stop apologizing, stop being defensive,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“The reality is the NSA has saved thousands of lives not just in the United States but in France, Germany and throughout Europe. Quite frankly, the NSA has done so much for our country and so much for the president; he’s the commander in chief. He should stand with the NSA.”