There has been a huge amount of press in the last little while addressing the revelation that, since September 11, 2001, George Bush authorized interception of domestic communications by the National Security Agency without review by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Now, the New York Times is reporting that the National Security Agency has collected much more information than originally reported and is using data mining techniques on the amassed trove of data:
Spy Agency Mined Vast Data Trove, Officials Report - New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 - The National Security Agency has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of the eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to hunt for evidence of terrorist activity, according to current and former government officials.
The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said.
As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.