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New Doc: NSA Says It Monitors 1.6 Percent of Web Traffic

A new document released by the NSA on Friday reveals the agency monitors 1.6 percent of Internet traffic.

A new document released by the National Security Agency on Friday reveals the shadowy agency “touches” 1.6 percent of all Internet traffic.

The newly-released document, which came on the heels of President Barack Obama's promise of greater transparency about government surveillance programs, adds that of the 1.6 percent of Internet traffic the NSA monitors, “only 0.025% is actually selected for review.”

NSA Sign A new document released by the NSA reveals that the agency monitors 1.6 percent of Internet traffic. (AP)

From the document:

Scope and Scale of NSA Collection

According to figures published by a major tech provider, the Internet carries 1,826 Petabytes of information per day. In its foreign intelligence mission, NSA touches about 1.6% of that. However, of the 1.6% of the data, only 0.025% is actually selected for review. The net effect is that NSA part in a million. Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the global collection would be represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball court.

The memo says that following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, “several programs were developed to address the U.S. government's need to connect the dots of information available to the intelligence community and to strengthen the coordination between foreign intelligence and domestic law enforcement agencies.”

Click here to see the NSA document

On Friday, Obama told reporters during a news conference that his administration would push reforms to increase transparency regarding the legal proceedings surrounding government surveillance programs.

“It’s not enough for me, as president, to have confidence in these programs,” Obama said. “The American people need to have confidence in them as well.”

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter



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