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Today's Tech: New docs show NSA hoovers up data on global scale and battered BlackBerry desperately appeals for consumer faith

Further revelations have emerged relating to the spying operations of the US National Security Agency (NSA). The Washington Post reported that the agency is systematically harvesting contact lists from email accounts, instant messaging, and social networks from around the world, including those of Americans. According to recent disclosures, the agency is attempting to draw up a graph detailing all the connections existing between American citizens, and could be used to build a detailed picture of any one person's social contacts, locations and close friends.

With its protracted decline beginning to accelerate, BlackBerry has sought to reassure its customer base with an open letter that insists, "You can continue to count on us." The Canadian manufacturer has suffered a well-documented fall from grace in the smartphone market, with this year's launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform failing to ignite a revival. As the firm edges towards a sale redundancies have proliferated across the company, while second quarter figures released in September painted a decidedly bleak financial picture. But the company formerly known as RIM claims it has sufficient cash reserves to sustain its services as a leaner organisation. Follow the link above to see the open letter.

BT and TechHub have launched a new project that encourages startups to create applications and services that take advantage of superfast broadband connections with the government lauding the new partnership. The agreement, which comes under the BT Infinity Lab umbrella, aims to fuel the minds of entrepreneurs so that they develop offerings that can be sold as part of BT's consumer broadband offering. "TechHub and BT are to be congratulated on this brilliant initiative which will result in exciting new products and prototypes, helping all UK Internet users to make the most of all the benefits superfast speed has to offer," said communications minister Ed Vaizey.

Google is preparing to reward customers that allow the company to install apps that specifically monitor mobile usage as it continues its Screenwise feedback programme. The company confirmed to Engadget that "Mobile Meter" apps are in development for both Android and iOS that are able to allow Google to collect data on app usage and web browsing habits. Sources quoted by the same site stated the apps will collect data on a purely voluntary basis and customers will have to opt in to the scheme before being able to download and use the app. The data collected from the panellists taking part is likely to be completely anonymous and will thus prevent any problems with sensitive information being made public.