Documents provided by Edward Snowden and direct sources acquired from the Washington Post indicate that the NSA was capable of recording entire foreign telephone calls. The videos were able to be re-watched for up to 30 days after recording.
Voice surveillance was a part of the MYSTIC program started in 2009 by the NSA. RETRO – short for ‘retrospective retrieval’ was one of many tools in the program which was used to against key targets.
Spokeswoman of the NSA, Caitlin Hayden, did not comment on the specific allegations but said that threats are “often hidden within the large and complex system of modern global communications, and the United States must consequently collect signals intelligence in bulk in certain circumstances in order to identify these threats.”
Many of the bulk collection programs revealed since last summer consisted solely of meta-data, making this program particularly unique.
via The Washington Post