The main method of filtering and analysing non-verbal traffic are called "dictionary computers" and utilise traditional information retrieval techniques, including keywords. Fast special purpose chips enable vast quantities of data to be processed in this way. The newest technique is "topic spotting".
At the present time, Internet browsers and other software used in almost every personal computer in Europe are deliberately disabled such that "secure" communications they send can, if collected, be read without difficulty by the US National Security Agency (NSA). US manufacturers are compelled to make these arrangements under US export rules.
2. The use of strong cryptography is slowly impinging on intelligence agencies' capabilities. This difficulty for these agencies has been offset by covert and overt activities which have subverted the effectiveness of cryptographic systems supplied from and/or used in Europe.