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The National Security Agency is collecting billions of records on the location of mobile phones around the world, The Washington Post reported, citing documents from US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. The report comes six months since the first bombshell leaks from Snowden, a former information technology subcontractor for the NSA who says he spilled secrets to spark public debate on the agency's widespread surveillance activities. Of the NSA surveillance programs revealed to date, including spying on foreign leaders and the collection of Internet "meta-data," the geo-location project appears to represent the agency's largest in scale and scope. The NSA declined to comment on the report when contacted by AFP.
Two Algerian detainees at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay have been repatriated, the Defense Department said Thursday, despite protest from the prisoners who feared persecution. "The Department of Defense announced on December 5 the transfer of Djamel Saiid Ali Ameziane and Bensayah Belkecem from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Algeria," after a review "which examined a number of factors, including security issues," a statement said. "The United States coordinated with the Government of Algeria to ensure these transfers took place with appropriate security and humane treatment assurances," it added. The transfers are part of President Barack Obama's ongoing, but much delayed, efforts to meet his vow to shutter the US detention center in Cuba, where more than 160 "war on terror" suspects still linger nearly 12 years after it was opened.