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NSA gathers nearly 5 billion cell phone records every day

Published Dec 5th, 2013 9:45PM EST
Snowden NSA 5 Billion Cellphone Records

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Just how deep does the NSA rabbit hole go? The Washington Post reports that the NSA is “gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” This enables the agency to track an individual user throughout the day, virtually mapping out every location that the cellphone owner has visited. According to the NSA, the location tracking is an incidental side effect of data collection, although U.S. officials have deemed the practice lawful as the data could assist in the development of the country’s intelligence regarding foreign threats.

“[T]here is no element of the intelligence community that under any authority is intentionally collecting bulk cellphone location information about cellphones in the United States,” said Robert Litt, general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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