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Dave Ross


Even in friendly countries the NSA is making us look like the Death Star. People need to understand that we're the good guys. We're Americans. We're here to help. (Star Wars image)

It’s yet another disclosure from the Snowden files by the Guardian of London: an NSA document from 2011 about a program called Dishfire, which is making big news in Britain.

“Two-hundred-million text messages a day have been hoovered-up and stored in a secret system developed by American spies,” according to the report that aired on Britain’s Channel 4.

They make it sound so … ominous.

“Suppose you’re taking a train to Brussels. When you arrive you get a welcome text from your phone company. This automatically hoovered up into the Dishfire system,” says the reporter.

The reporter displays her iPhone showing examples of the kind of personal texts that these American spies have been capturing.

“If I arrange to meet someone, any text, any financial transaction is also collected and if my contact sends me his business card, that too would be caught,” she reports.

Everyday: 110,000 contacts captured, 800,000 financial transactions.

The overall effect of the report was to make America look, well, like some kind of evil empire.

“The Americans had to delete the texts of their own citizens but international traffic, including from us Britains, was fair game and could be spied upon at will.”

Just a reminder of the other fallout from this whole story. That even in friendly countries the NSA is making us look like the Death Star. People need to understand that we’re the good guys. We’re Americans. We’re here to help.

Now turn that ominous music off.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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