Skip to main content

Journalist and blogger Glenn Greenwald and colleague Ewen MacAskill released a new round of top secret National Security Agency documents via the Guardian, Saturday afternoon, this time concerning one of the NSA’s data-mining tools, “Boundless Informant.” According to the newspaper’s latest revelation, Boundless Informant “…details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.”

Among the most notable pieces of information in this new report from Greenwald and Company are the statistics cited concerning the number of records the NSA collected domestically, as displayed by the Boundless Informant tool, wherein we’re informed those amounted to “…almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013…” alone. And, internationally

Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data
Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, Saturday 8 June 2013 15.10 EDT

…A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA "global heat map" seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide…

The Guardian article also contains a four-page, slide presentation on Boundless Informant, titled: “Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool – four key slides.”

The article tells us…

…The disclosure of the internal Boundless Informant system comes amid a struggle between the NSA and its overseers in the Senate over whether it can track the intelligence it collects on American communications. The NSA's position is that it is not technologically feasible to do so.

At a hearing of the Senate intelligence committee In March this year, Democratic senator Ron Wyden asked James Clapper, the director of national intelligence: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

"No sir," replied Clapper.

Judith Emmel, an NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian in a response to the latest disclosures: "NSA has consistently reported – including to Congress – that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case."

Other documents seen by the Guardian further demonstrate that the NSA does in fact break down its surveillance intercepts which could allow the agency to determine how many of them are from the US. The level of detail includes individual IP addresses.

Of course, it’s fairly common knowledge these days, as Chris Soghoian, a principal technologist with the Speech Privacy and Technology Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, noted in the article, ”If you don't take steps to hide it, the IP address provided by your internet provider will certainly tell you what country, state and, typically, city you are in…"

The Guardian report also discusses some of the interactive functionality of the platform but, frankly, I think that’s more about eye candy than anything else. (The link to the story, along with relevant graphics regarding same--which I don’t believe are available for reproduction, given the copyright laws applicable in this instance—may be accessed via the link, above.)

Additionally, with the names of numerous other programs and data-mining tools at the NSA already being public knowledge, to assume this is the only tool of its kind in use at the NSA is sheer speculation—and, almost certainly, a far from accurate assumption, too.

Last but not least, as the authors of this article also noted, one of the more salient points of this latest revelation is that it continues to undermine the ongoing disinformation narrative out of D.C., and that’s concerning matters reported even as recently as over the past 24 hours, where we were reassured that the American public was not being spied upon, via public pronouncements directly to that effect, by none other than the President, himself.

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” as the old saying goes. But, there is a lot more information available online on many of these NSA programs, and the details relating to some of them, than many may realize.

Originally posted to on Sat Jun 08, 2013 at 08:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, SME in Seattle, fly, claude, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, DeminNewJ, grollen, deben, glitterscale, bob in ny, native, kaleidescope, mimi, emal, PeterHug, karlpk, Shockwave, Wintermute, hyperstation, DCDemocrat, Aspe4, recentdemocrat, RFK Lives, hubcap, Gustogirl, Zinman, TracieLynn, cyberKosFan, whenwego, Agathena, ask, phillies, taonow, Nate Roberts, ctsteve, Arrow, Redfire, psnyder, Dallasdoc, CitizenOfEarth, 2laneIA, bula, hoplite9, riverlover, dkmich, walkshills, Oaktown Girl, ybruti, side pocket, xxdr zombiexx, Armand451, sb, radarlady, ichibon, Technowitch, run around, basquebob, YucatanMan, ratzo, eru, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, where4art, lotlizard, CompaniaHill, Sandino, LucyandByron, Tunk, Savvy813, WisePiper, deepsouthdoug, Ekaterin, Indiana Bob, huttotex, Alan Arizona, Oye Sancho, xaxnar, splashoil, SSMir, martini, kovie, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Medium Head Boy, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, dharmafarmer, Yellow Canary, technomage, KenBee, kck, blueoasis, triv33, StrayCat, philipmerrill, Rosaura, gooderservice, JVolvo, sceptical observer, profh, Persiflage, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dianna, kurt, markthshark, NonnyO, seabos84, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, SpecialKinFlag, Deadicated Marxist, Debs2, leema, Margfh, BruceMcF, Wino, FishOutofWater, sdelear, aliasalias, newpioneer, Kentucky Kid, HCKAD, Aunt Martha, SeaTurtle, JML9999, Don midwest, rmonroe, JDWolverton, gundyj, also mom of 5, Roger Fox, spacejam, zerone, poligirl, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, dadadata, elwior, jamess, Deep Harm, Lujane, RandomNonviolence, icebergslim, temptxan, petulans, shigeru, luckylizard, Executive Odor, priceman, rhutcheson, ZhenRen, Rhysling, J M F, Throw The Bums Out, greengemini, lostinamerica, dharmasyd, Carol in San Antonio, CanyonWren, Nebraskablue, maryabein, Gorilla in the room, socal altvibe, shopkeeper, JesseCW, petral, nancat357, angel d, catilinus, ruscle, Just Bob, serendipityisabitch, politik, David Harris Gershon, mookins, TealTerror, gulfgal98, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, DerAmi, Jaimas, Publius2008, Floande, USHomeopath, Nada Lemming, allenjo, stone clearing, Teiresias70, boomerchick, mrsgoo, Wolf10, Claudius Bombarnac, zenox, jadt65, SouthernLiberalinMD, No one gets out alive, SuWho, quill, anodnhajo, DeadHead, Williston Barrett, greenbastard, SamanthaCarter, MsLillian, dance you monster, Joieau, 420 forever, Ginger1, Mr Robert, Mike RinRI, Free Jazz at High Noon, BusyinCA, lunachickie, sexgenderbody, DSWright, George3, katiec, BradyB, Ray Pensador, Panacea Paola, JohnnyBoston, CharlesInCharge, weck, gypsytoo, northerntier, Another Grizzle, Jason Hackman, Kombema, Stentorian Tone, andalusi, Love Me Slender, dream weaver, bygorry

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site