To better understand the truly global reach of mass surveillance carried out by the NSA, I offer you to take a look at this static map I fixed up a little (original file here) for summing up as simply as possible the three main categories of external relationships the agency is sustaining with the rest of the world:
- In blue are the ‘Five Eyes’ countries: the NSA spies with them, the concerned countries directly handing the data on their own citizens to the American agency. But obviously, membership in the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance does not protect against the abuse of partners’ networks and resources, as of course the USA ensures themselves the dominant position.
- In orange are the ‘Third Party’ countries: listed as being “approved SIGINT partners” – in other words the NSA works with them of specific surveillance projects, but is deeply spying on them at the same time…
- Last, in black are the NSA’s ‘target’ countries: the agency spies on them systematically but never collaborates with them.
In addition, make sure to take a a look at the Sniffmap website – a project aiming at mapping the NSA’s hold on global telecommunications, and at assessing, per country, the probable degree of Internet traffic interception:
Don’t get it wrong: countries in green are not the ones escaping this massive surveillance, but the ones for which we don’t have enough data yet to know the situation is like… Countries totally spared are the ones represented in bright blue – what a surprise! I don’t see any.
That way, we now estimate that approximately 80% of the world’s Internet traffic would in some way pass through an access point available to the NSA. This is made possible, among other things, by the fact that the United-States has played a leading role in the development of the physical infrastructure of the Internet as we know it today – which the NSA does not hesitate to boast about, calling the US the “world’s telecommunications backbone”, and developing strategic partnerships with both governments and private companies in order to gain access to submarine cables, routers and other switch points for the whole of our communications:
So, when do we change countries planets?