The National Security Agency wants a system that can monitor all electronic communications, according to an expert on the agency. The FBI director and the general heading the NSA are testifying to Congress that keeping phone call metadata – who called whom and for how long – has stopped numerous terrorist attacks.
But author James Bamford says the NSA has put technology in place that does a lot more. He points to an AT&T whistle-blower who revealed in 2006 that the agency was secretly bugging the backbone of the Internet. He says the NSA is monitoring many different things.
Agency defenders say little privacy has been lost. But Bamford is not reassured, saying the NSA still operates in secret and has been dishonest with the public in the past.