undefined
According to new leaked documents, the NSA uses surveillance data collected on Americans to reconstruct and analyze their social networks.

The U.S. National Security Agency uses domestic surveillance data to map the social networks of certain Americans, the New York Times reported.

According to documents leaked to the Times by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the agency used phone and email logs gathered on U.S. citizens to assemble social networks of targeted Americans.

Throughout the summer, documents leaked by Snowden have revealed the agency’s comprehensive spying practices, from tapping into fiber optic Internet cables to breaking encryption schemes and leveraging warrants obtain in a secret foreign intelligence court for Americans’ private user data from Facebook, Google, and other Silicon Valley giants.

Until now, it was largely unclear how the NSA assembled and used the massive amount of Internet and telephone surveillance data it collected. According to the Times, the most recent documents from Snowden indicated that the agency incorporates data collected on bank transactions, Facebook pages, passenger manifests, GPS logs, and tax information into its network maps.

Until November of 2010, agents only built such maps on foreign persons. But a memo from January of 2011 explained that the agency expanded the operation to allow “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of intercepted email addresses and phone numbers.

An NSA spokesperson told the Times that this decision to allow agents to assemble networks of Americans based on their phone and email logs stemmed from a 1979 Supreme Court decision that Americans have no right to privacy regarding the phone numbers they’ve called. The Justice Department interpreted this ruling as a legal justification for the agency to construct social network maps with phone records.

“All of NSA’s work has a foreign intelligence purpose,” an agency spokesperson told the Times. “Our activities are centered on counterterrorism, counterproliferation and cybersecurity.”

The spokesperson did not comment to the paper on how many Americans’ social networks had been graphed by the agency.

NSA slide via New York Times | Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Layer 8
A female Lebanese news anchor was told to shut up—here's what she did instead
Rima Karaki is a Lebanese TV host who isn't afraid of a fight. Things got heated Monday when Karaki was interviewing Hani Al-Seba'i about the phenomenon of Christians joining Islamic groups like ISIS. Al-Seba’i is a Sunni scholar who fled to London after he was sentenced in an Egyptian court to 15 years in prison for being a part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The United Nations considers the group to be an affiliate of al Qaeda.
prism
Forget PRISM: FAIRVIEW is the NSA's project to "own the Internet"
According to Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency senior executive who blew the whistle on the agency’s reckless spending and spying in 2006, a previously unknown NSA surveillance program known as FAIRVIEW aims to “own the Internet.”
The Latest From Daily Dot Video
Group

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!