NSA Claims Not to Collect Cellphone Location Records
National Security Agency officials have stated that the agency does not collect "pinpoint" locations of cell phone callers even though it has authorization to do so.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the agency is authorized to collect "geolocational" information to identify the exact location of callers. Former officials said other major phone companies, including AT&T and Sprint Nextel, "also operate under similar orders."
As the Journal notes, though, the office of the Director of National Intelligence emphasized over the weekend that the NSA phone surveillance programs do not collect "any cell phone locational information."
Officials said while geolocational information "has been found to be of value to criminal investigators," the data "doesn't provide sufficient intelligence value to justify the resources that would be required to use it."
The NSA reportedly reviewed the phone records of fewer than 300 Americans "associated with specific foreign terrorist organizations" in 2012.