In a report based on another set of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, journalists James Risen and Laura Poitras detail how the NSA has created vast social networks for U.S. citizensthrough spying on emails, phone calls, and possibly cellular phone call locations.
Under a loose interpretation of laws that were meant to regulate their spying, the NSA began to analyze emails and phone calls in November 2010, in an attempt to “discover and track” the communications between citizens and foreign intelligence targets. The spying, however, extended far into the private electronic communications of thousands of Americans, as the agency authorized its spies to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness.”
The agency then added public information like Facebook profiles, GPS location, and voter registration to create a social connections map (seen above in a slide taken by Snowden) not unlike the diagrams made to prove vast criminal enterprise (or conspiracy theories).
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