NSA classifies Linux Journal readers, Tor and Tails Linux users as “extremists”

Himanshu Arora

Are you a Linux Journal reader or use software such as Tor and Tails Linux? If so, you’ve probably been flagged as an “extremist” by the NSA. Leaked documents related to the XKeyscore snooping program reveal that the agency is targeting anyone who is interested in online privacy, specifically those who use the aforementioned software and visit the Linux user community website.

XKeyscore is a collection and analysis software that was among a number of surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden last year.

Its source code (basically a rule file), which has been obtained and analyzed by members of the Tor project and security specialists for German broadcasters NDR and WDR, identifies two German Tor Directory Authority servers as being under surveillance by the NSA. The code also cites a number of specific IP addresses of the Tor Directory Authority.