Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The New, Improved NSA — Now With Internet Users' Metadata!

It never ends, or so it seems. Via Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars, we find an article in The Guardian by James Ball:
The National Security Agency is storing the online metadata of millions of internet users for up to a year, regardless of whether or not they are persons of interest to the agency, top secret documents reveal.

Metadata provides a record of almost anything a user does online, from browsing history – such as map searches and websites visited – to account details, email activity, and even some account passwords. This can be used to build a detailed picture of an individual's life.

The Obama administration has repeatedly stated that the NSA keeps only the content of messages and communications of people it is intentionally targeting – but internal documents reveal the agency retains vast amounts of metadata.

I can't help noticing that the users are not designated as American or foreign, so we can reasonably assume they archive everything from everyone.

The article further states that the NSA is not restricted to archiving metadata only of target persons or persons of interest or suspects, but may collect and store information for up to a year (and how would you know if they held it for longer) on any internet user. The good news (for the moment) is that you can still use the 'net. The bad news... do I really have to tell you that you have no privacy if you do use any aspect of the internet?


  1. People always accused me of being paranoid when I stated that the NSA was likely hoovering everything that went plain-text across the Internet. That is, they had the technical capability to do so, so they were likely doing so. It's a sign of our times that making assumptions like that is no longer paranoia but a statement of simple fact :(.

    1. 'Tux, back in the Bush Junior years, I used to sign my personal emails and then add a shout out to the FBI agent after the sig. Wrong three-letter agency, and the "agent" is most likely electronic now, but I had the right idea. No, neither of us is paranoid!



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