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Secret documents say NSA had broad scope, scant oversight: Report

Published on Jul 1, 2014 1:03 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US National Security Agency (NSA) has been authorised to intercept information "concerning" all but four countries worldwide, top-secret documents say.

"The United States has long had broad no-spying arrangements with those four countries - Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand," Washington Post reported on Monday. Yet "a classified 2010 legal certification and other documents indicate the NSA has been given a far more elastic authority than previously known, one that allows it to intercept through US companies not just the communications of its overseas targets but any communications about its targets as well."

The certification - approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and included among a set of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden - says 193 countries are "of valid interest for US intelligence."

The certification also let the agency gather intelligence about entities such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the report said.

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