Mystic, NSA Special Source Operations’ phone monitoring program, includes a tool for reaching back in time to find phone calls—and to reduce the crunch on the NSA’s networks required to find them.
NSA Special Source Operations via The Washington Post
File this one under “just when you think you’ve heard it all.” The Washington Post published a story this morning revealing that the National Security Agency is recording all—that is, 100 percent—of the phone calls in an unidentified country.
The recorded call database includes the phone calls of American citizens from the target country, which is not identified.
The recordings are kept for 30 days so that they can be searched.
The story is accompanied by an NSA weekly briefing memo about one facet of the program, which is called Mystic, and the agency has an accompanying data-retrieval program called Retro. It also published a cover page picturing a wizard holding a cell phone, as well as an excerpt from secret Congressional budgets in fiscal year 2013, which suggest that the program will grow to encompass the telephone calls of a second country.