NSA's New Spying Tool: Social Networks
NYT: Agency looks at Americans' connections to create 'sophisticated' profiles
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2013 1:54 PM CDT
The National Security Administration campus in Fort Meade, Md.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – Thanks to Edward Snowden, we already knew that the NSA was gathering all kinds of data—or "metadata," as the agency prefers—about Americans' phone calls and emails. But just how does it assess all that information? By creating a social network of sorts—but one that nobody would want to be on. The New York Times explains in its latest Snowden scoop:

  • The NSA "has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information ..."

To make those "sophisticated graphs" as sophisticated as possible, the agency also culls data from Facebook profiles, voter registration rolls, property records, GPS data, tax information—you get the picture. An NSA spokesperson insists that any such analysis has a "foreign intelligence justification, period." But the story notes that a 2011 policy change allows the NSA to compile these records "without having to check foreignness" of all the email addresses or phone numbers involved. The agency would not say how many US citizens had been scrutinized. Click for the full story.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Sep 30, 2013 9:27 PM CDT
First of all, the children-reporters the pseudo-news hires today, who publish under the fantasy titles of "news reporters" and "news editors", are completely ignorant of history when they manufacture their gossip and fairy-tales that are then force-fed to us in published and broadcast "news", are people who are completely ignorant of history and of the news their own agencies have covered even only a few short years ago. News information has been covering the NSA's activities that I know of since 1982. Secondly, currently there are two ways I can post directly to Facebook, because I am disconnected within a few seconds whenever I sign-in to Facebook directly. My AVG anti-infection program tells me through its Trouble Shooting connectivity map that my disconnections are coming either between my ISP and the internet or at or beyond the internet. The only two ways I can post directly to Facebook are: a) Freely access Newser and do what I am doing right now -- I am freely composing this posting without any problem with disconnects, and then share the comments directly TO Facebook FROM Newser; b) Write what I want to say in Windows Notepad, copy it, sign in to Facebook and as quickly as I can, to paste my comment into my Timeline dialogue box and post as soon as I can -- almost immediately. This method often does not work as within a few seconds I am often disconnected from Facebook from the internet-side of my ISP, which COULD be Facebook but I doubt it, since I have trouble through my Juno e-messages as well, and my Domain web-mail also is disconnected-from in the same way as Facebook; When I go into Juno e-messages, Juno free e-mail is a toss-up with connectivity, I suffer disconnects about half the time. SOMEBODY does not want me posting comments: a) I have made many fully truthful comments on how O'Bam-ya is not a Democrat but is an infiltrator from The Establishment who is doing everything Goering Warcrimes Bush has done, and his "Obama-care" "health insurance" is both illegal AND is a direct subsidy to the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations that will drive up costs worse than Medicare and Medicaid do; b) I have consistently revealed the truth about US intelligence and commercial clandestine histories of US natizens being secretly created and maintained and shared within The Establishment, including by the NSA, by military intelligence in US internal civilian spying, and with the clandestine conspiracy to eliminate cash and receipts by use of the internet and debit / credit cards so that we cannot control our own personal finances and literally cannot own our own income as well as extorts our personal privacy away from us; c) I have made many honest disclosure statements both in Facebook and in other public discussion mediums about how Mal-Wart ("WalMart") destroys our local economy as a globalized Chinese company that is highly subsidized by our US - state - county - municipal governments and exploits tax-exemption status by being a Chinese company; d) I have truthfully and accurately criticized the Establishment-infiltrated Democratic Party anti-Democracy political machine as well as the corporate-communist mafia subversion of the Republican "Party". Any and all of these may be the cause of my being continuously disconnected from Facebook and from Juno and my domain web-mail. In short, I have been censored.
Sep 29, 2013 5:10 AM CDT
Social media was invented by the govt to spy on us.
Sep 29, 2013 12:28 AM CDT
Why is no one else rating this hilarious?