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Washington: America's secretive National Security Agency has defended its surveillance of cellphones globally, arguing that this is legally authorised under a sweeping US presidential order and such programmes have been used in some of the most dangerous parts of the world."This collection does not violate FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)," NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in a statement.It comes days after a Washington Post report said that NSA is collecting every day about five billion records on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world which includes both US and non-US citizens."It is not ubiquitous. NSA does not know and cannot track the location of every cell phone," she said. "This capability has been used in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, including war zones, where terrorists are actively planning to do harm to the nation," Vines said.Without directly referring to The Washington Post story, the NSA official said this tracking is solely about foreign communication and does not involve tracking domestic cell phone."NSA tries to avoid the acquisition of US person communications during EO 12333 operations and also uses collection methodologies to comply with the restrictions in FISA," the official said.Vines said the collection of the global cellphone location data is carried out under the White House order that governs all US espionage, known as Executive Order 12333."If EO 12333 collection results in the incidental acquisition of a communication to, from, or about a US person, we apply minimisation procedures and, depending on the specific circumstances, may also be required to destroy the record and report the incident to NSA's overseers," she said.Arguing this particular NSA programme is outward-facing, Vines said the the agency doesn't intentionally acquire domestic information through this capability."FISA authorisation would be required for the intentional collection of domestic metadata. This activity is centred on overseas locations," she said.The Washington Post based its report on the classified documents obtained from former CIA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.Noting that the NSA has no reason to suspect that movements of the overwhelming majority of cellphone users would be relevant to national security, the daily said, the agency collects locations in bulk because its most powerful analytic tools known collectively as 'Co-Traveler' allow it to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.PTI

Pune landslide: At least 17 dead, NDRF still searching for survivors

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Pune landslide: At least 17 dead, NDRF still searching for survivors

Pune: At least 17 people were killed when torrential rains triggered a landslide at a village inMaharashtra's Pune district today, burying over 160 as 400 NDRF personnel looked for survivors and bodie...


Assam: Five militants nabbed, one person kidnapped

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Assam: Five militants nabbed, one person kidnapped

Guwahati: Five militants including four ultras of the NDFB (Sonbijit faction) were today arrested from Kokrajhar and Karbi Anglong districts, a police spokesman said here.Four NDFB(S) extremists were ...

BJP to launch messaging service like Whatsapp, called Bhajapa Samvad Setu

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BJP to launch messaging service like Whatsapp, called Bhajapa Samvad Setu

Indore: The BJP plans to launch a multimedia messaging service on the lines of WhatsApp before the scheduled local body elections."We are developing a multimedia messaging service on the lines of...

Disclosure of sexual harassment case by JNU students union members criticised

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Disclosure of sexual harassment case by JNU students union members criticised

The public disclosure by JNU Students Union president Akbar Chawdhary and joint secretary Sarfaraz Hamid that a complaint against them has been filed with the universitys Gender Sensitisation Committe...

Assam: Woman and her infant killed following 'rape attempt'

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Assam: Woman and her infant killed following 'rape attempt'

Tezpur: A woman and her infant child were hacked to death at Maibong village under Chriduar police station in Sonitpur district along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, police sources said today.Bodi...

Cabinet writes off Rs 59.74 cr interest to be paid by J&K govt

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Cabinet writes off Rs 59.74 cr interest to be paid by J&K govt

New Delhi: The Cabinet today decided to write off Rs 59.74 crore interest amount to be paid by the Jammu and Kashmir government to the state-run FCI for purchase of foodgrains on credit way back in 19...

Kerry's India visit: Indo-US relations need a therapist, not a traveling salesman

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Kerry's India visit: Indo-US relations need a therapist, not a traveling salesman

"The bigger picture has to guide us and the end game has to guide us," expounded US Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry was speaking about US-India relations to the Center for American Prog...