The National Security Agency may reject the accusation they spy on Americans, but they collect contact lists of email and instant message services from users worldwide. Many Americans are among those whose data is being harvested.
The Washington Post reported the findings on Monday. The data was collected from none other than intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, now in Russia.
The NSA is picking up your email address lists.
Individuals are not targeted, but rather the lists are collected en masse. By doing it in this fashion, the spy organization hopes to find relationships between various players.
According to a summary provided by The Post, were actual email address lists, “harvested” online address books that allow users of Gmail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail, Facebook and other online services to keep track of their friends, family and business associates.The same can be said about many smartphones and computers which allow you to "sync" your contacts to services such as Google and Facebook.
One of the Snowden documents provided a typical day at the NSA where they collected 444,743 email address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail, and 22,881 from other providers.
That’s a rate of over 250 million per year, The Post reported.
The data snooping was defended Monday by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein who is the senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Both Google spokesman Niki Fenwick and Microsoft, spokesman Nicole Miller denied any knowledge of the NSA activities.
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