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NSA says it can spy on your location if it wants, but it chooses not to

Published Jun 17th, 2013 12:35PM EDT
NSA Cell Phone Location Data

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The National Security Agency is scrambling to quell controversy surrounding its massive data collection program and on Sunday it disclosed that it doesn’t collect location data on cell phone users even though it’s authorized to do so. The Wall Street Journal reports that the NSA says that it “chooses not to” collect “‘geolocational’ information that can pinpoint the location of callers” as part of its sweeping surveillance program that collects call data on tens of millions of American citizens. Even if the NSA’s assertions are true, however, it still means that the agency is collecting a lot of other sensitive data on phone calls, including the numbers of both parties on a call and a call’s time and duration.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.