Whistleblowers NSA warning: Just the tip of the iceberg – TRAPWIRE + PRISM ?
The National Security Agency’s collection of phone data from all of Verizon’s U.S. customers is just the “tip of the iceberg,” says a former NSA official who estimates the agency has data on as many as 20 trillion phone calls and emails by U.S. citizens.
William Binney, an award-winning mathematician and noted NSA whistleblower, says the collection dates back to when the super-secret agency began domestic surveillance after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I believe they’ve been collecting data about all domestic calls since October 2001,” said Mr. Binney, who worked at NSA for more than 30 years. “That’s more than a billion calls a day.”
He called his figures “back of the envelope” estimates, adding that they include emails as well as telephone calls.
Using analytical software, the NSA could use mobile phones’ metadata over time to paint a picture of where their users went, who they talked to and what their habits were, Mr. Wicker said.
“The metadata available is now so fine-grained that it reveals where we’re going, what we’re doing, what our preferences and beliefs might be and who our friends are,” he said.
- TRAPWIRE + PRISM:
- TrapWire works by collecting data from thousands of security cameras, then applying GPS tracking data and facial recognition data [PRISM]
- Secretive TrapWire companys affiliations revealed
- Facial recognition and GPS tracking: TrapWire company conducting even more surveillance
Federal law and rulings by federal courts have consistently held that metadata, including information about the location of mobile phones, is not covered by the warrant requirements of the U.S. Constitution.
“Unfortunately, technology and the opportunities it presents for surveillance have outpaced our understanding of the Fourth Amendment,” Mr. Wicker said, citing the constitutional ban on unlawful searches and seizures.
Mr. Binney said that, in any case, the NSA already is collecting the content of calls and emails, as well as metadata.
- Report: France operates PRISM-like spy network (miamiherald.com)