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Meet Paltalk, The NSA's Weirdest Surveillance Target

An ancient chatroom service gets tapped like the big boys. A history with terrorism.

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Read the Washington Post's bombshell story here.


Well, a few things. First of all, Paltalk does more than chatrooms now — its desktop app can handle traditional messaging, video, VoIP phone calls, and Google-Hangout-style group conversations:

The company also offered a flat-rate international VoIP plan, which means it would have been used for lots of cross-border landline/cell calls.

And to the dissemination of activist religious materials.

According to a report by the conservative Hudson Institute, the Paltalk is still widely used by British Muslim activists, and plays host to a wide range of political and religious speech.

But a Paltalk spokesperson told Buzzfeed:

We have not heard of PRISM. Paltalk exercises extreme care to protect and secure users' data, only responding to court orders as required to by law. Paltalk does not provide any government agency with direct access to its servers.

Contact John Herrman at

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