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Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2014

NSA collects 200 million text messages daily, including locations and financial transactions

The NSA has been gathering nearly 200 million text messages a day from around the world, gathering data on people’s travel plans, contacts and credit card transactions, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

Code-named “Dishfire,” the NSA program collects “pretty much everything it can,” the Guardian said, citing a joint investigation with the UK’s Channel 4 News based on material from NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The newspaper said the documents also showed that the British spy agency GCHQ had used the NSA database to search the metadata of “untargeted and unwarranted” communications of people in the United Kingdom.

US phone numbers were “removed or minimized” from the database, but those numbers from other countries were kept and stored.

#stopthensa“The NSA has made extensive use of its vast text message database to extract information on people’s travel plans, contact books, financial transactions and more – including of individuals under no suspicion of illegal activity,” the Guardian report said.

NSA said, “As we have previously stated, the implication that NSA’s collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false.”

On average, each day the NSA was able to extract:

• More than 5 million missed-call alerts, for use in contact-chaining analysis (working out someone’s social network from who they contact and when)

• Details of 1.6 million border crossings a day, from network roaming alerts

• More than 110,000 names, from electronic business cards, which also included the ability to extract and save images.

• Over 800,000 financial transactions, either through text-to-text payments or linking credit cards to phone users

The agency was also able to extract geolocation data from more than 76,000 text messages a day, including from “requests by people for route info” and “setting up meetings”. Other travel information was obtained from itinerary texts sent by travel companies, even including cancellations and delays to travel plans.

NSA seal redone by donkeyhotey

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Edward Snowden and the NSA one year later - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] NSA collects 200 million text message daily […]

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