As we celebrate this great nation, let's remember that the government is out catching terrorists... even if that means the "terrorist" is someone who simply wants to protect their privacy.

A new report detailing the NSA's internet database XKeyscore reveals that the agency has set up a piece of source code with rules to capture the IP address of German users who visit the websites of Tor and Tails. What are Tor and Tails? Tor is an online browser that protects outside sources (like the NSA) from learning your location or browsing habits. Tails, which was used by the likes of Edward Snowden, is an operating system that is built around protecting privacy and keeping things anonymous. Tor, for one, has long been in the crosshairs of the NSA because its power to keep things anonymous, and is essentially the gate into the "dark Internet." 

The NSA released this statement about the report:

In carrying out its mission, NSA collects only what it is authorized by law to collect for valid foreign intelligence purposes - regardless of the technical means used by foreign intelligence targets. The communications of people who are not foreign intelligence targets are of no use to the agency.

In January, President Obama issued U.S. Presidential Policy Directive 28, which affirms that all persons - regardless of nationality - have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information, and that privacy and civil liberties shall be integral considerations in the planning of U.S. signals intelligence activities.

The president's directive also makes clear that the United States does not collect signals intelligence for the purpose of suppressing or burdening criticism or dissent, or for disadvantaging persons based on their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

XKeyscore is an analytic tool that is used as a part of NSA's lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system. Such tools have stringent oversight and compliance mechanisms built in at several levels. The use of XKeyscore allows the agency to help defend the nation and protect U.S. and allied troops abroad. All of NSA's operations are conducted in strict accordance with the rule of law, including the President's new directive.

[via The Register