Published time: October 15, 2013 00:13
Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino
The National Security Agency is logging hundreds of millions of email and instant messaging contacts belonging to Americans and others around the world, according to a report based on documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The data harvesting program, first reported by The Washington Post Monday, collects address books from email and instant messaging service in an apparent attempt to map social circles across the globe. Online communication services frequently expose an individual’s contact list when that person signs onto their account, sends a message, or connects a remote device – such as a cell phone – to a computer.
An internal NSA PowerPoint presentation indicated that the NSA’s Special Source Operations collected 444,743 email lists from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail, and another 22,881 from other services. The documents note that those numbers…
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