The spy who loved ME: Middle East under strong US surveillance
Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and Egypt were the countries most subjected to U.S. intelligence surveillance, The Guardian reported on Sunday, quoting what it said were top secret documents.
The documents, according to the paper, showed a NSA data-mining tool recording and analyzing intelligence. The tool has been referred to as ‘Boundless Informant’, which collects and gathers data from both computers and telephone networks.
"The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against that country, " said a NSA factsheet about the program, obtained by the Guardian.
The maps provided by The Guardian show that Iran was the main country where intelligence was gathered, with at least 14 billion reports over a 30 day period that ended in March 2013.
The second country that tops the list was Pakistan with 13.5 billion reports over the same period, followed by US Arab ally Jordan with 12.7 billion.
Egypt and India were the last two countries highlighted in red, a color signifying the highest surveillance.
The report comes amid Congressional accusations to the NSA claiming the agency has been spying on American people.
In March this year, the agency told a senate hearing that the technology it has developed so far is not able to track and gather data on people’s communication.
"NSA has consistently reported – including to Congress – that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case", Judith Emmel, an NSA spokeswoman, told The Guardian.