Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.


This morning, the White House declassified the documents and orders used to establish the NSA’s wide-reaching record collection. But it isn’t comforting, especially when you consider what Glenn Greenwald reported for the Guardian, also this morning:

[T]raining materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA’s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.