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The NSA is recording every cell phone call in the Bahamas

Friday, July 4, 2014
Data Pirates of the Caribbean

The US National Security Agency is secretly intercepting, recording, and archiving the audio of virtually every cell phone conversation on the island nation of the Bahamas, according to a story by Ryan Devereaux, Gregg Greenwald and Laura Poitras in The Intercept.


Citing documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Intercept reports that "the agency appears to have used access legally obtained in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to open a backdoor to the country’s cellular telephone network."


The extent of the surveillance program threatens to challenge Bahamians' trust in the security of all of their private telecommunications.


"By targeting the Bahamas’ entire mobile network, the NSA is intentionally collecting and retaining intelligence on millions of people who have not been accused of any crime or terrorist activity," the report says.


"In addition, the program is a serious – and perhaps illegal – abuse of the access to international phone networks that other countries willingly grant the United States for legitimate law-enforcement surveillance. If the NSA is using the Drug Enforcement Administration’s relationship to the Bahamas as a cover for secretly recording the entire country’s mobile phone calls, it could imperil the longstanding tradition of international law enforcement cooperation that the United States enjoys with its allies."