WASHINGTON – Edward Snowden leaked new information last week about a U.S. surveillance program that grants the NSA instant access to an individual’s emails, social media and browsing history without a warrant. In the wake of this release, National Security Agency officials have remained oddly calm, asserting that now Snowden “is just pulling everyone’s leg.”
The NSA documents leaked by Snowden detail a program called XKeyscore, which covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.” Described in the documents as the NSA’s “widest reaching” program of its type, XKeyscore allows access to private information such as emails, search history and metadata from both U.S. and foreign citizens.
“Clearly, he’s just making this shit up as he goes,” said NSA Deputy Director John Inglis at a hastily called press conference. “Honestly, the guy’s jumped the shark.”
Although the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 requires a warrant for analysts to target U.S. persons, obtaining information from U.S. persons through XKeyscore requires no prior authorization. XKeyscore only requires analysts to type a reason for their search into the program in order to view online data in real time.
“They don’t even need their fake court for this one,” said Snowden of the FISA court in a recent interview. “They’ve basically broken the secret legal limits that they made up in the first place. Who’s the traitor now, assholes?”
XKeyscore performs a variety of search techniques, including compiling the IP addresses for all visitors of a given website. According to NSA documents, all that is needed to search for information on an individual is a single piece of identifying information, such as an email or IP address.
Despite the abundant evidence that seems to confirm Snowden’s newest revelation, NSA officials have continued to deny the existence of this program.
“Oh come on people, you’re not believing the latest crap he’s peddling, are you?,” asked NSA Director General Keith Alexander. “We do not allow unauthorized access to data. Period. We have checks and balances in place at every level of our surveillance programs. If there’s one thing government bureaucracy is good for, it’s carefully monitoring its activities to ensure there are no excesses or abuses. Am I right, or am I right?”
Despite arguing that XKeyscore is fictional, the NSA has continued to defend the previous surveillance programs leaked by Snowden as an essential part of U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. The NSA said in an official statement that by 2012, the U.S. had used information gathered from the PRISM and Verizon surveillance programs to capture “a bajillion terrorists.”