NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show

The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool.
www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-tracking-cellphone-locations-worldwide-snowden-documents-show/2013/12/04/5492873a-5cf2-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.htmlAlso see:Documents Say Phones Outside U.S. Are Tracked
The National Security Agency is tracking the location and movements of hundreds of millions of cellphones outside the United States in an effort to find suspicious travel patterns or coordinated activities by intelligence targets, according to secret documents leaked by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden.To carry out the tracking, the agency collects nearly five billion records on cellphones outside the United States each day from taps on fiber optic cables and other communication conduits that carry cellphone traffic, the documents say. Enough of that data is saved to track a small fraction of the phones over time.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/us/politics/documents-say-phones-outside-us-are-tracked.htmlInternet Firms Step Up Efforts to Stop Spying
When Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive, recently announced the company’s biggest security overhaul in more than a decade, she did not exactly receive a standing ovation.Ordinary users asked Ms. Mayer why Yahoo was not doing more. Privacy activists were more blunt. “Even after today’s announcement, Yahoo still lags far behind Google on web security,” said Christopher Soghoian, a technology analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/technology/internet-firms-step-up-efforts-to-stop-spying.htmlThe NSA says it ‘obviously’ can track locations without a warrant. That’s not so obvious.
In conversations with The Washington Post over Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani’s recent story on cellphone location tracking, an intelligence agency lawyer told Gellman, “obviously there is no Fourth Amendment expectation in communications metadata.” But some experts say it’s far from obvious that the 1979 Supreme Court case on which the administration bases this view gives the government unfettered power to scoop up Americans’ cellphone location data.That Supreme Court case, called Smith v. Maryland, started with a 1976 robbery of a woman named Patricia McDonough in Baltimore. Soon afterward, she began receiving threatening calls from a man who identified himself as the robber. In one of those calls, the man on the line asked her to come outside, where she saw a 1975 Monte Carlo she had earlier described to the police drive by slowly.
www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/12/04/the-nsa-says-it-obviously-can-track-locations-without-a-warrant-thats-not-so-obvious/?tid=hpModule_88854bf0-8691-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394

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