NSA spying on five billion cellphone calls a day

This video from the USA says about itself:

National Security Agency Whistleblower William Binney on Growing State Surveillance

20 Apr 2012

DemocracyNow.org – In his first television interview since he resigned from the National Security Agency over the its domestic surveillance program, William Binney discusses the NSA‘s massive power to spy on Americans and why the FBI raided his home after he became a whistleblower. Binney was a key source for investigative journalist James Bamford’s recent exposé in Wired Magazine about how the NSA is quietly building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah. The Utah spy center will contain near-bottomless databases to store all forms of communication collected by the agency including private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches and other personal data.

Binney served in the NSA for over 30 years, including a time as technical director of the NSA‘s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. Since retiring from the NSA in 2001 he has warned that the NSA‘s data-mining program has become so vast that it could “create an Orwellian state.” Today marks the first time Binney has spoken on national television about NSA surveillance.

From the Washington Post in the USA:

NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show

By Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani, Wednesday, December 4, 9:18 PM

The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.

(Video: How the NSA uses cellphone tracking to find and ‘develop’ targets)

The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones “incidentally,” a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.

One senior collection manager, speaking on condition of anonymity but with permission from the NSA, said “we are getting vast volumes” of location data from around the world by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. Additionally, data is often collected from the tens of millions of Americans who travel abroad with their cellphones every year.

In scale, scope and potential impact on privacy, the efforts to collect and analyze location data may be unsurpassed among the NSA surveillance programs that have been disclosed since June. Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among individuals using them.

(Graphic: How the NSA is tracking people right now)

The NSA has no reason to suspect that the movements of the overwhelming majority of cellphone users would be relevant to national security. Rather, it collects locations in bulk because its most powerful analytic tools — known collectively as CO-TRAVELER — allow it to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.

Still, location data, especially when aggregated over time, is widely regarded among privacy advocates as uniquely sensitive. Sophisticated mathematical techniques enable NSA analysts to map cellphone owners’ relationships by correlating their patterns of movement over time with thousands or millions of other phone users who cross their paths. Cellphones broadcast their locations even when they are not being used to place a call or send a text.

US tracks billions of cell phone location records daily: here.

34 thoughts on “NSA spying on five billion cellphone calls a day

  1. Of recent, I read how the British government destroyed thousands of files that were coming into public scrutiny as the time had come for their revelation, these files were of such of a incriminating nature on the evil the British government were guilty of, that after incineration they were to be pulped and deposited in to the sea, if these people have been implicated in such treachery surely the public should know what these subversives are up to, the excuse of the public need protection from terrorism such as Islamic fundamentalists is not such a threat to my personal liberty that worries me as much as the governments potential threat to me or actual threat to me, of what they are supposedly protecting me against.
    My concern is the governments of the Western Alliance are turning the clock back to the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs, that means to strip you of individual rights and work you to death and diminish income, of the people, and have a small elite group of task masters who define what you are to them, and the individual having no rights, including no right of reply.


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