The National Security Administration has not only been collecting phone records — but, on occasion, sharing them with British security agencies. That’s according to a Friday report by Eli Lake in The Daily Beast. “Unedited analysis” of the records was shared with the British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), according to Lake.
“Current and former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the longstanding program to collect metadata from American telecommunications and Internet companies tell The Daily Beast that, in a few discreet cases, the NSA has shared unedited analysis of these records,” per the report.
“My understanding is if the British had a phone number, we might run the number through the database for them and provide them with the results,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official said.
Meanwhile, Peter Wood, the CEO of First Base Technologies, “a security firm that works closely with British law enforcement in this area,” had no specific knowledge of such sharing, but offered a similar take.
“I do not know of cases where the U.S. government has shared this kind of metadata with the United Kingdom, but I would be surprised if this never happened,” he said. “Both countries cooperate very closely on counterterrorism.”
The United Kingdom United States of America Agreement agreement includes sharing signal intercepts and electronic intelligence, Lake noted. Sources told him British officials have received “unredacted analysis of targeted searches,” but are not permitted to sit at terminals where NSA analysts mine data.
Read the full report here.
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