How the NSA is tracking people right now
Documents received by The Washington Post indicate the National Security Agency is collecting billions of records a day to track the location of mobile phone users around the world. This bulk collection, performed under the NSA’s international surveillance authority, taps into the telephony links of major telecommunications providers including some here in the United States. The NSA collects this location and travel habit data in order to do ‘target development’ -- to find unknown associates of targets it already knows about. To accomplish this the NSA compiles a vast database of devices and their locations. Most of those collected, by definition, are suspected of no wrongdoing. Officials say they do not purposely collect U.S. phone locations in bulk, but a large number are swept up ‘incidentally.’ Using these vast location databases, the NSA applies sophisticated analytics techniques to identify what it calls co-travelers – unknown associates who might be traveling with, or meeting up with a known target. HERE IS HOW IT WORKS NSA collects 5 billion records a day on cellphones
SOURCE: The National Security Agency, OpenSignal and MIT Media Lab . GRAPHIC: The Washington Post.