The NSA has made extensive use of its text message database to extract information on people under no suspicion of illegal activity.
– NSA collects millions of text messages daily in ‘untargeted’ global sweep (Guardian, Jan 16, 2014):
• NSA extracts location, contacts and financial transactions
• ‘Dishfire’ program sweeps up ‘pretty much everything it can’
• GCHQ using database to search metadata from UK numbers
The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents.
The untargeted collection and storage of SMS messages – including their contacts – is revealed in a joint investigation between the Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.