New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach
Siobahn Gorman, Jennifer Valentino-Devries
August 20, 2013, 11:31 p.m.

Programs Cover 75% of Nation's Traffic, Can Snare Emails

WASHINGTON--The National Security Agency--which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens--has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans' Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say...

(NOTE: When I last checked it, the story links will bypass the WSJ's paywall; but I cannot guarantee they will remain functional. The WSJ could shift them around at any time. The graphic is provided via a link from Zero Hedge.)

Here's a link and an excerpt to an accompanying piece from the reporters, currently running on the WSJ blog...

What You Need to Know on New Details of NSA Spying
Wall Street Journal Online
August 21st, 2013   8:10PM

...New Details Show Broader NSA Reach

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Although the system is focused on collecting foreign communications, it includes content of Americans' emails and other electronic communications, as well as "metadata," which involves information such as the "to" or "from" lines of emails, or the IP addresses people are using.

At key points along the U.S. Internet infrastructure, the NSA has worked with telecommunications providers to install equipment that copies, scans and filters large amounts of the traffic that passes through.

This system had its genesis before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has expanded since then.

What is new in the Journal's report?

Previous reports have indicated that the NSA's surveillance of telecommunications lines in the U.S. focuses on international gateways and landing points. Other reports have indicated that surveillance of the U.S. telecom network was used to gather only metadata under a program that the NSA says ended in 2011.