The Algerian and Ethiopian governments are helping the United States (US)-based National Security Agency (NSA) collect private data about Africans, according to a report.

The Intercept reported the existence of an expanded NSA surveillance programme known as RAMPART-A, which depends on a growing number of third party governments to provide access to fibre networks.

The American government has been gathering private data with the help of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom – collectively know as the Five Eyes – however recently published documents provided by American whistleblower Edward Snowden highlight the important role of third party governments.

“The RAMPART-A program provides collection against long-haul international leased communications through special access initiatives with worldwide SIGNET [signals intelligence] partnerships,” one of the NSA documents reads.

The programme helps the intelligence agency access data through email, internet chat, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and voice call records.

“The fact that the US government works with other nations, under specific and regulated conditions, mutually strengthens the security of all,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines is quoted as saying.

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