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Collection accesses

An undated chart showing the sources of 103 ‘accesses’ to communications or computers made in a single week in 2009 at an NSA facility in San Antonio, Texas. Twenty-four accesses were collected from the major internet companies under the authority of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), 21 from Special Source Operations on privately owned communications infrastructure (SOO), 19 from intercept of foreign communications satellites (Fornsat), 16 from intercepted radio communications (Conventional), nine were acquired by US spy satellites (Overhead), seven from foreign intelligence services (2nd/3rd party) and one from Special Collection Service operations based at embassies and consulates (SCS): see the New York Times article No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A., 2 November 2013.

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US taps Merkel’s mobile phone and spies from its Berlin Embassy

Recently released documents reveal that the joint NSA-CIA unit called the Special Collection Service (SCS) very likely targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone. Merkel’s phone number is a ‘Selector Value’ in the documents, and dates and active status also indicate that monitoring of her number began in 2002 and was active in June of 2013.

The SCS has sites in around 80 locations, including two in Germany. Der Spiegel reports that the SCS sets up equipment to intercept cellular signals, wireless networks and satellite communication from US embassies:

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