The Conversation

NSA Collects 5 Billion Cellphone Records a Day

According to the latest leak from Edward Snowden, the NSA is collecting a staggering 5 billion cell phone location records a day.  The tracking allows the agency to "track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable."

Data is collected from at least 100 million devices. 

The NSA says it does not intentionally collect the information of Americans but admits that it "acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones 'incidentally,' a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result."

The ACLU released a statement about the cell phone tracking . Catherine Crump, an attorney with the civil rights organization explained: 

"It is staggering that a location-tracking program on this scale could be implemented without any public debate, particularly given the substantial number of Americans having their movements recorded by the government. The paths that we travel every day can reveal an extraordinary amount about our political, professional, and intimate relationships. The dragnet surveillance of hundreds of millions of cell phones flouts our international obligation to respect the privacy of foreigners and Americans alike. The government should be targeting its surveillance at those suspected of wrongdoing, not assembling massive associational databases that by their very nature record the movements of a huge number of innocent people."


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