MAINWAY is a database maintained by the United States' National Security Agency (NSA) containing metadata for hundreds of billions of telephone calls made through the four largest telephone carriers in the United States: AT&T, SBC, BellSouth (all three now called AT&T), and Verizon.
The existence of this database and the NSA program that compiled it was unknown to the general public until ''USA Today'' broke the story on May 10, 2006.〔 It is estimated that the database contains over 1.9 trillion call-detail records.〔(【引用サイトリンク】 work =Democracy Now! )〕 According to Bloomberg News, the effort began approximately seven months before the September 11, 2001 attacks. As of June 2013, the database stores metadata for at least five years.〔(【引用サイトリンク】 url=http://theweek.com/article/index/245285/how-the-nsa-uses-your-telephone-records )〕
The records include detailed call information (caller, receiver, date/time of call, length of call, etc.) for use in traffic analysis〔 "And, by the way, I hate the term 'metadata.' What's wrong with 'traffic analysis,' which is what we've always called that sort of thing?"〕 and social network analysis,〔 "The data are used for 'social network analysis,' the official said, meaning to study how terrorist networks contact each other and how they are tied together."〕 but do not include audio information or transcripts of the content of the phone calls.
The database's existence has prompted fierce objections. It is often viewed as an illegal warrantless search and a violation of the pen register provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and (in some cases) the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The George W. Bush administration neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the domestic call record database. This contrasts with a related NSA controversy concerning warrantless surveillance of selected telephone calls; in that case they did confirm the existence of the program of debated legality. That program's code name was Stellar Wind.〔(Now We Know What the Battle Was About ) ''Newsweek'' December 13, 2008〕
Similar programs exist or are planned in other countries, including Sweden (Titan traffic database) and Great Britain (Interception Modernisation Programme).
The MAINWAY equivalent for Internet traffic is MARINA.〔http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/06/washington-post-provides-new-history-nsa-surveillance-programs〕
The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a related suit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, alleging that the firm had given NSA access to its database, a charge reiterated in the ''USA Today'' article.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=NSA Multi-District Litigation )〕
Verizon and BellSouth have both claimed they were never contacted by the NSA, nor did they provide any information to the agency,〔Drinkard, Jim. "(Verizon says it isn't giving call records to NSA )." ''USA Today''. May 16, 2006. Retrieved June 8, 2013.〕 though US codes of law〔TITLE 15, CHAPTER 2B, § 78m (b)(3)(A)〕 permit companies to lie about their activities when the President believes that telling the truth would compromise national security.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=15 USC § 78m – Periodical and other reports | Title 15 – Commerce and Trade | U.S. Code )〕
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