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These media reports have shed light on the implications of several secret treaties signed by members of the UKUSA community in their efforts to implement global surveillance.
For example, Der Spiegel revealed how the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) transfers "massive amounts of intercepted data to the NSA", while Swedish Television revealed the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) provided the NSA with data from its cable collection, under a secret treaty signed in 1954 for bilateral cooperation on surveillance.
On June 5, in the first media report based on the leaked material, Under the order, the numbers of both parties on a call, as well as the location data, unique identifiers, time of call, and duration of call were handed over to the FBI, which turned over the records to the NSA.
In the 1970s, NSA analyst Perry Fellwock (under the pseudonym "Winslow Peck") revealed the existence of the UKUSA Agreement, which forms the basis of the ECHELON network, whose existence was revealed in 1988 by Lockheed employee Margaret Newsham.
Months before the September 11 attacks and during its aftermath, further details of the global surveillance apparatus were provided by various individuals such as the former MI5 official David Shayler and the journalist James Bamford, Greenwald, Poitras and the Guardian's defence and intelligence correspondent Ewen Mac Askill flew to Hong Kong to meet Snowden. S.-based editor of The Guardian held several meetings in New York City, it was decided that Greenwald, Poitras and the Guardian's defence and intelligence correspondent Ewen Mac Askill would fly to Hong Kong to meet Snowden.
The reports mostly emanate from a cache of top secret documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which he obtained whilst working for Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the largest contractors for defense and intelligence in the United States.
In addition to a trove of US federal documents, Snowden's cache reportedly contains thousands of Australian, British and Canadian intelligence files that he had accessed via the exclusive "Five Eyes" network.
The real identities of the companies behind these codenames were not included in the Snowden document dump because they were protected as Exceptionally Controlled Information which prevents wide circulation even to those (like Snowden) who otherwise have the necessary security clearance.
Other security and intelligence agencies involved in the practice of global surveillance include those in Australia (ASD), Britain (GCHQ), Canada (CSEC), Denmark (PET), France (DGSE), Germany (BND), Italy (AISE), the Netherlands (AIVD), Norway (NIS), Spain (CNI), Switzerland (NDB), Singapore (SID) as well as Israel (ISNU), which receives raw, unfiltered data of US citizens that is shared by the NSA.
On August 6, 2013, US President Barack Obama made a public appearance on national television where he told Americans that "We don't have a domestic spying program" and that "There is no spying on Americans".