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Wikileaks reveals NSA is listening to nearly all calls in Afghanistan

Julian Assange accused Glenn Greenwald of censorship after he redacted the name of a country involved in NSA surveillance.
By Aileen Graef   |   May 23, 2014 at 6:08 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- Wikileaks revealed that the NSA is listening to most of the calls in Afghanistan after Glenn Greenwald redacted the country from his report, per a request from the U.S. government.

Glenn Greenwald published a story earlier this week revealing that the NSA was intercepting call data in the Bahamas and other countries as part of the SOMALGET, which is part of the MYSTIC program. They declined to identify one country where these programs were being implemented, naming it "Country X" after the U.S. government warned that not redacting the information could endanger lives.

Greenwald requested that Julian Assange at Wikileaks follow suit and initially they complied. However, they ended up accusing Greenwald, his outlet The Intercept, and its parent company First Look Media of censorship and disclosed the name: Afghanistan.

"We do not believe it is the place of media to 'aid and abet' a state in escaping detection and prosecution for a serious crime against a population," Assange said in the statement. "By denying an entire population the knowledge of its own victimization, this act of censorship denies each individual in that country the opportunity to seek an effective remedy, whether in international courts, or elsewhere."

Assange went on to justify the decision by saying that the government overstates the risk of revealing such information and he was indeed saving lives. His reasoning was based in the fact that the NSA was using the information gleaned from the program to help the CIA execute drone strikes in the region that kills thousands.

The NSA has refused to comment on the program.

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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