How to use the NSA phone tracking program without breaking the law: the docs.
The documents show that the NSA is also collecting phone metadata — like the number dialed, duration of call, duration, time and duration of each call — as well as call records, text messages, audio recordings and even video recordings.
“It appears to be the NSA using the phone records collection to track and extract information from any phone that has not been used in the course of an authorized call,” the documents state.
These types of phone records may include calls from cellphones that have been removed from their owners or are no longer connected to any network.
In the document, the NSA writes: “The records may be obtained in bulk to assist in identifying individuals with significant prior criminal activity.”
It notes that “records of the types of communications and data obtained may include the call logs, the call records or video recordings.”
The metadata, which includes names, phone numbers, and duration, are collected through a system known as “PRISM.”
The NSA calls the system “a collection of signals intelligence,” and the agency describes it as a “secret, highly targeted collection program.”
But even if you’re not in any sort of legal jeopardy, you should still exercise caution when handling the NSA records.
While the NSA claims that the collection is only “about metadata” and not “about calls,” the NSA document suggests that there may be other types of data collected.
One document states that the agency is “exploring the possibility of using the metadata to identify calls that have originated outside the United States.”
A spokesperson for the Justice Department’s general counsel declined to comment to The Hill, but a spokesperson for AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and others have been among the companies that have come under scrutiny for providing “backdoor” access to their customers’ data.
For example, AT&Ts new “backdoors” into its customers’ phones allowed the NSA to read calls without their knowledge, and Verizon is reportedly trying to get the NSA a backdoor to unlock customer data on its network.