Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2014

NSA Tracks Billions of Cell Phone Locations Daily

The Washington Post reports that according ton top-secret documents provided by Edward Snowden, “the NSA is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world … 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 … New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.”

The scale and scope of the operation is unprecedented. “Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among the people using them.”

“The government is tracking people from afar into confidential business meetings or personal visits to medical facilities, hotel rooms, private homes and other traditionally protected spaces.”

The NSA justifies its surveillance abroad, claiming that “when U.S. cellphone data are collected … [they] are not covered by the Fourth Amendment.”

“The NSA’s capabilities to track location are staggering … and indicate that the agency is able to render most efforts at communications security effectively futile.”

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