Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald hasn’t published the story yet, but he gave the Socialism Conference in Chicago a big taste of his next reveal:
The National Security Agency can store one billion phone calls each day.
Speaking to a raucous audience via Skype on Friday, Greenwald said the NSA’s “brand-new technology” gives it the power to “redirect into its own repositories one billion cell phone calls every single day.”
“But what we’re really talking about here is a globalized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency,” Greenwald said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re listening to every call; it means they’re storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time, and it does mean that they’re collecting millions upon millions upon millions of our phone and email records.”
Greenwald added that the NSA technology is “designed to destroy all privacy. And what’s incredibly menacing about it is that it’s all taking place in the dark with no accountability and virtually no safeguards.”
He also said that his purpose of publishing these stories is to tell the U.S. government and other countries that if they want to monitor all of us, they should do it in the “sunlight” and let us decide if that’s the kind of world we want to live in.
Greenwald’s wide-ranging remarks here speak to the overall NSA story and how it came to be; he also discusses his philosophy behind the decision to publish the series of stories ignited by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that have galvanized the globe.
The following is Greenwald’s entire conference address. His remarks concerning the NSA storing a billion cell phone calls a day begin at the 39:50 mark. (Warning: Some rough language in parts of whole video):