US: The National Security Agency (NSA) traces over five billion cellphones everyday, mapping the relationship among the various cellphone users based on their location, revealed a report published in The Washington Post.
According to the report, the US agency accumulated humongous amount of location data everyday by tapping into cables that join mobile networks around the world. Other than foreign nationals, the cellphone users whose location is being tracked by the NSA include millions of Americans who travel abroad.
The NSA, according to the report, used a software programme called CO-TRAVELLER, which churns through the vast location data of billions of cellphone users and establishes the “patterns of relationships between them by where their phones go”.
“That can reveal a previously unknown terrorist suspect, in guilt by cellphone-location association, for instance,” the report adds.
As the location data belongs to a huge sea of people, including unsuspicious ones, the NSA keeps with it a whopping amount of data running into 27 terabytes, so that it might use it if necessary later.
Clarifying over the issue, the general counsel of the Director of National Intelligence, Robert Litt, has said that the collection of bulk location data of US nationals is not done “intentionally”.
Source: Washington Post