The 10 Biggest Revelations From Edward Snowden's Leaks

Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden poses for a photo during an interview in an undisclosed location in December 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden poses for a photo during an interview in an undisclosed location in December 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
Image: Barton Gellman/Getty Images

One year ago, the Guardian published its first bombshell story based on leaked top-secret documents showing that the National Security Agency was spying on American citizens.

At the time, journalist Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian never mentioned that they had a treasure trove of other NSA documents, nor that they came from one person. Then three days later, the source surprisingly unmasked himself: His name was Edward Snowden.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting based on Snowden's information.

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She said: 'On a scale of one to 10, I feel I'm at a nine because there's definitely room for improvement. I know I could go further.'
At the forum, tech entrepreneurs also shared their views on virtual reality, which they said will be the most important computing platform over the next five to 10 years.
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Johan Pettersson被授予搞笑化学奖,以表彰其揭示了瑞典小城Andersl?v居民的头发会变绿的原因,因为这里的水中含铜量太大。

1. Secret court orders allow NSA to sweep up Americans' phone records

The very first story revealed that Verizon had been providing the NSA with virtually all of its customers' phone records. It soon was revealed that it wasn't just Verizon, but “两材”重组再下一城 水泥业务整合先行? in America.

This revelation is still one of the most controversial ones. Privacy advocates have challenged the legality of the program in court, and one Judge deemed the program unconstitutional and "almost Orwellian," while another one ruled it legal.

The uproar caused by this first story has led President Barack Obama to endorse a reform to the program, and the House of Representatives to pass the first law that tries to change it.

2. PRISM

The existence of PRISM was the second NSA bombshell, coming less than 24 hours after the first one. Initially, reports described PRISM as the NSA's program to directly access the servers of U.S tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, among others.

9月全国规模以上建材家居卖场销售1086.2亿

PRISM, we soon learned, was less less evil than first thought. In reality, the NSA doesn't have direct access to the servers, but can request user data from the companies, which are compelled by law to comply.

PRISM was perhaps as controversial as the first NSA scoop, prompting technology companies to first deny any knowledge of it, then later fight for the right to be more transparent about government data requests. The companies ended up partially winning that fight, getting the government to ease some restrictions and allow for more transparency.

3. Britain's version of the NSA taps fiber optic cables around the world

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I am here to speak for the countless animals dying across this planet because they have nowhere left to go. We cannot afford to be not heard. 我为这个行星上无数正在垂死的动物而演讲,因为它们几乎已经无处容身了。

Tempora is one of the key NSA/GCHQ programs, allowing the spy agencies to collect vasts troves of data, but for some reason, it has sometimes been overlooked. After a couple of months from the Tempora revelation, a German newspaper revealed the names of the companies that collaborate with the GCHQ in the Tempora program: Verizon Business, British Telecommunications, Vodafone Cable, Global Crossing, Level 3, Viatel and Interoute.

4. NSA spies on foreign countries and world leaders

U.S. President Barack Obama, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seated together at a G7 dinner in Brussels, on June 4. Their relationship has been tense since reports revealed that the NSA tapped Merkel's phone.

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Dwight Howard
赫梅尔说,“如果发达经济体的原油需求增加,再加上新兴经济体需求的增多,我认为市场供应将趋紧。”这意味着油价走势图上可能会再度出现多个高峰。

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Not a lot of Bond villains get their own theme song, but Christopher Lee's assassin from The Man with the Golden Gun gets a flashy, catchy, groovy tune that makes him seem cool as hell. (And of course, he is.) Lulu completely sells the awesomeness of the villain Scaramanga, and although the song may seem almost ridiculously upbeat today, it only adds to the charm.

The German newsweekly Der Spiegel revealed that the NSA targets at least 122 world leaders.

Other stories over the past years have named specific targets like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazil's President Dilma Roussef, and Mexico's former President Felipe Calderon, the French Foreign Ministry, as well as leaders at the 2010 G8 and G20 summits in Toronto.

5. XKeyscore, the program that sees everything

XKeyscore is a tool the NSA uses to search "nearly everything a user does on the Internet" through data it intercepts across the world. In leaked documents, the NSA describes it as the "widest-reaching" system to search through Internet data.

6. NSA efforts to crack encryption and undermine Internet security

Encryption makes data flowing through the Internet unreadable to hackers and spies, making the NSA's surveillance programs less useful. What's the point of tapping fiber optic cables if the data flowing through them is unreadable? That's why the NSA has a developed a 原料价格上调 或致家居建材行业进入“分化期” to circumvent widely used web encryption technologies.

A study published in the journal "Clinical Psychological Science" in 2012 showcased the power of self-imagination, which showed the technique could help people with impaired memories, as well as individuals with no memory problems. As with other studies of human memory, the scientists asked participants to remember a list of words related to certain personality traits. The participants were then asked to use a specific strategy to help them recall the words. For example, some participants were asked to remember one personality trait by thinking of a second word that rhymed with the trait. Other participants were asked to remember the definition of the trait while others were asked to engage in "self-referential processing" where they would think about the trait in a personal, self-reflective way.
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President Barack Obama won re-election to a second term in the White House on Tuesday, television networks projected, beating Republican challenger Mitt Romney after a long and bitter campaign。
Will the UK economy be the slowest-growing in the G7

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7. NSA elite hacking team techniques revealed

The NSA has at its disposal an elite hacker team codenamed "Tailored Access Operations" (TAO) that hacks into computers worldwide, infects them with malware and does the dirty job when other surveillance tactics fail.

Der Spiegel, which detailed TAO's secrets, labelled it as "a squad of plumbers that can be called in when normal access to a target is blocked." But they can probably be best described as the NSA's black bag operations team.

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8. NSA cracks Google and Yahoo data center links

When bulk collection or PRISM fails, the NSA had other tricks up its sleeve: It could infiltrate links connecting Yahoo and Google data centers, behind the companies' backs.

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This story truly enraged the tech companies, which reacted with much more fury than before. Google and Yahoo announced plans to strengthen and encrypt those links to avoid this kind of surveillance, and a Google security employee even said on his Google+ account what many others must have thought privately: "Fuck these guys."

9. NSA collects text messages

It's not just about Internet data though. The NSA, following its unofficial motto of "collecting it all," intercepts 200 million text messages every day worldwide through a program called Dishfire.

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Other documents also revealed that the NSA can "easily" crack cellphone encryption, allowing the agency to more easily decode and access the content of intercepted calls and text messages.

10. NSA intercepts all phone calls in two countries

The NSA intercepts and stores all phone calls made in the Bahamas and Afghanistan through a program called MYSTIC, which has its own snazzy logo.

The Bahamas was revealed by The Intercept, Greenwald's new website, while the second was revealed by WikiLeaks, which protested The Intercept's decision to withhold the second country's name.

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Bonus: Edward Snowden's first in-person interview with an American news outlet

(H/T to the site Free Snowden, which has an extensive and detailed list of all the NSA revelations.)