Scrolling news:

Lebanon: Nasrallah: Israel on a path towards “suicide” in Gaza

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

Palestine: Amid Gaza ceasefire calm, at least 40 dead bodies are found

Palestine: Entire 20 members of one family in Gaza killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 940

Palestine: Seventeen killed in early morning hours of Friday

Palestine: Israeli forces invade Azzun in W Bank, use Palestinian civilians as human shields

Palestine: 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem & inside Israel taken captive in 3 Weeks

Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

Palestine: Civilian casualties continue to rise; 15 killed Thursday night

Palestine: Israeli attacks in Gaza kill 20 on Thurs afternoon

Palestine: Twelve Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli army in Hebron, Nablus

Palestine: 33 Palestinians killed in pre-dawn Israeli attacks in Gaza

Palestine: List of 714 Palestinians killed between July 8 and July 24

Palestine: Toddler ‘killed in ICU’ as Israel bombs Gaza City hospital

Palestine: Two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in protest march near Ramallah, W Bank

Palestine: Dozens feared dead as Israel shells UN shelter in Beit Hanoun

Iraq: UN Secretary-General meets Ayatullah Al-Sistani for the first time in Najaf

Pakistan: Allama Talib Jauhri’s son-in-law shot dead in Karachi

Palestine: 73 Palestinians killed on Wed in Gaza, total death toll at 695

Palestine: 21 Palestinians killed in early dawn strikes in Gaza

US: NSA tracks billions of records on mobile phone locations daily

5th Dec 2013

NSA HQ in Ft Meade, MD


The US National Security Agency collects nearly 5 billion records each day on mobile phone locations around the world, including those of Americans, the Washington Post has reported, citing documents from Edward Snowden.

The records are added to a gigantic database that shows the location of “at least hundreds of millions of cell phones” worldwide, the newspaper said on Wednesday. The information effectively allows the NSA to track the movements of almost any mobile phone in the world, as well as map the relationship of the mobile phone user.

According to the report, Americans’ locations are not targeted intentionally but can be picked up “incidentally” as part of the collections process. The data is collected by tapping into cables that link the worldwide mobile network, said the Post. The report was based off documents provided by former intelligence contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as interviews with intelligence officials.

The NSA uses a powerful computer program called CO-TRAVELER to process the data on billions of people and build patterns based on where their phones go. Intelligence officials told the newspaper that the programs are legal and are designed to only target foreign militants or other “targets” that are deemed a threat to the US.

The information is collected with the help of two unnamed corporations, according to the Post. The amount of data collected is “outpacing our ability to ingest, process and store” data, according to an internal NSA briefing from May 2012 cited by the Post.

“The NSA’s capabilities to track location are staggering, based on the Snowden documents, and indicate that the agency is able to render most efforts at communications security effectively futile,” said the newspaper’s article, which was written by Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani.

Reports citing the Snowden documents on Washington’s far-reaching spy programs were first published in June. They have sparked a worldwide debate over US espionage and surveillance activities. Snowden, who is facing espionage charges in the US, has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

dr/av (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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