Reports: NSA surveillance program spans to offline computers

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NEW YORK (NBC) – The New York Times revealed new information about a spying program that does what many believed was impossible.

Just as President Obama is set to announce new rules on domestic spying comes the new revelation about NSA surveillance programs overseas.

Edward Snowden says the NSA has been able to penetrate networks that are not connected to the Internet in China, Russia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Officials say the technique was used in places where cyber attacks against America might be launched.

The New York Times claims the agency got radio transmitters into the systems so NSA agents could record activity from miles away or crash the computers.

Cyber spying experts say U.S. companies worry that coming out about the devices could cost them sales.

Peter Singer, with Brookings Institute, said, “They see themselves, as one Silicon Valley executive described it, as being in an arms race with the U.S. government.”

NSA supporters are horrified.

Jane Harman, a former chairperson with the House Intelligence Committee, said, “Sadly, the leaks by Edward Snowden have given some of our tool kit to bad guys.”

As the president rethinks what tools the NSA can use, critics urge him to stop the collection of everybody’s Internet, phone and mail use.”

Laura Murphy, with the ACLU, said, “It’s terribly invasive. It’s wrong. It’s unconstitutional and it’s gotta end.”

NBC sources say the president will cut back the tapping of private phones of foreign leaders.