Since National Security Agency contract employee Edward Snowden released the initial documents taken from NSA files, the world has known that the U.S. spy agency is collecting data on millions of people. The true extent of that spying is still unknown but a new report suggests the NSA may be collecting 5 billion records of cellphone location data each day.
The cell phones targeted by the NSA belong primarily to foreigners, however phones belonging to American citizens that are traveling overseas have also been tracked. This sort of spying on American citizens has been hinted at in the past, and with this latest report published in The Washington Post, it is becoming difficult for the NSA to deny that it spies on Americans in the same way that it spies on foreign citizens around the world.
Almost any Cellphone
If this number is accurate, the NSA is tracking hundreds of millions of people around the world. The agency uses a program called CO-TRAVELER in order to not only track individual people but to build connections based upon where the phones end up throughout the day.
The news on location tracking comes as individuals and giant tech companies are trying to fight back against the NSA by encrypting their data and Internet traffic. It was only a few weeks ago that it was revealed that the NSA had likely tapped into fiber optic lines running between Google and Microsoft data centers in order to collect data.
Following the release of the first Snowden documents, American citizens, companies, and privacy groups have complained that the NSA is not using this data solely to protect the world from terrorism.
Not only is the NSA collecting data on people who are not terrorists, but the agency appears to be collecting so much data that it would not even be able to use it to fight terrorism if it wanted to do so. According to the latest report in the Post, the agency's location program is so massive that it is "outpacing [the NSA's] ability to ingest, process and store."
With so much data coming in on Americans and foreigners every day, the NSA has had to store most of it without even examining the information that has been collected. In order to deal with pertinent information, the NSA has had to outsource much of its work to contractors, which is the reason Snowden had access to the NSA data in the first place.
By collecting data on people who pose no threat to America, the NSA has begun to ruin relationships between the U.S. and its closest allies. Brazil, Germany, France and others have all said that the NSA's spying programs are not OK. Some countries are even considering plans to build a "separate" Internet in order to protect people from the NSA.
Posted: 2013-12-06 @ 2:35pm PT
The dystopian fantasies of yesteryear are now a reality. We’ve allowed the coming of an age where the civil liberties our forefathers fought so hard for are being eroded by the day. Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are mere ghostly images of their original intent. We've woken up to an Orwellian Society of Fear where anyone is at the mercy of being labeled a terrorist for standing up for rights we took for granted just over a decade ago.
Posted: 2013-12-06 @ 9:18am PT
Easy fix, get a SilentPocket
It’s not just the Government and police. Until we get proper legislation making app developers have you op in instead of opting out, you will never know what you have downloaded to your mobile device.
Using a SilentPocket® allows you to take control of your own privacy when it comes to Smartphone tracking. With over 1,500,000 mobile app developed for smartphones, many of which are stealth and are eavesdropping on your every move. Some are capable of turning on functions on your phone like your mic, camera, GPS, address book and more, even when it has been turned off.
There is only one way to stop this if you really want to know for sure that you have control of your mobile device is to block all forms of wifi coming in or going out.