Complex Made Simple

NSA monitored 7.8 billion calls in Saudi Arabia

Reports leaked by US digital repository Cryptome

Leaked reports from digital library, Cryptome, reveal that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored 125 billion calls and messages in January this year  – of which, many were from the Middle East region.

According to Cryptome, the majority of surveillance was focused on Saudi Arabia and Iraq, with the NSA intercepting more than 7.8 pieces of communication. Egypt, Iran and Jordan had 1.8 billion, 1.7 billion and 1.6 billion calls tapped by the agency respectively.

The company website states that approximately 124.8 billion ‘espionage operations’ were carried out by the US on a global scale in January 2013, which included Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Government leaders from across the Middle East region have not issued any official statements yet.

Nearly 6.28 billion calls from India were also recorded and the NSA, an agency that provides national security intelligence to senior US policy makers, also spied on an estimated three billion US phone communications as well.

In July the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, claimed that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing efforts have seriously damaged the country’s ties with other countries. “There has been damage. I don’t think we actually have been able to determine the depth of that damage,” he said.

Spying by the NSA has angered many Western leaders, especially those from Germany and France. Germany summoned the US ambassador to Berlin last week, after it suspected that the US spied on chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone communications.