December 20, 2013
Washington Post: NSA tapped Google and Yahoo
With this information, the Post states, the agency has the ability to observe hundreds of millions of personal user accounts, from across the world.
Ex-NSA contractor Snowden's document, dated January 9 2013, supposedly contains evidence that a program codenamed 'Muscular' had in the preceding 30 days collected more than 181 million pieces of data, including e-mails, text, audio and video messages.
The newspaper further alleged that the NSA also collected so-called 'metadata', or information on users sending content.
Both Yahoo and Google revealed their concern at the latest revelations. Google said in a press release it was “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers, and we are not aware of this activity.”
“We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we continue to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links."
At Yahoo, a spokeswoman said: “We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.”
NSA director Keith Alexander, meanwhile, denied the reports, stating that his agency is "not authorised" to access the data of other companies.