Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The National Security Agency (NSA) is tracking the location of hundreds of millions of cellphones worldwide, according to a top-secret document leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and revealed by the Washington Post Wednesday.
The document said the U.S. mass surveillance agency collects location data by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and store these into a vast database. The program gathers 5 billion records of cellphone locations per day and in the process unintentionally tracks the cellphones of millions of American traveling abroad.
The collected location data are then analyzed by an analytic tool called CO-TRAVELER to identify unknown people meeting known intelligence targets.
Robert Litt, general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, denied that the program intentionally collects location data of cellphones in the U.S., according to the Post.