Latest Snowden documents reveal that National Security Agency has been exploiting US citizens’ personal information drawn from its huge collection of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections.
According to nytimes, these Graphs can help them identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information.
Leaked documents also reveal—for examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes, Analysis of phone call and email logs have been allowing by the spy agency since November 2010, after N.S.A. officials lifted restrictions on the practice.
The policy shift was intended to help the agency “discover and track” connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the US, a January 2011 NSA memorandum cited in the documents explained.
According to the nytimes’ report, the agency has been allowed to enlarge the communications’ data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data.
NSA officials declined to comment on, which phone and email databases are used to create the social network diagrams. The agency did say that the large database of Americans’ domestic phone call records, which was revealed by Mr. Snowden in June and caused bipartisan alarm in Washington, was excluded.
Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University, told the NYT:
|“Metadata can be very revealing. Knowing things like the number someone just dialed or the location of the person’s cellphone is going to allow to assemble a picture of what someone is up to. It’s the digital equivalent of tailing a suspect,”|
In the meantime, Snowden is on temporary asylum in Russia.