According to newly published documents, the National Security Agency has built a “Google-like” search interface for its vast database of metadata, and the agency shares it with dozens of other American intelligence agencies. The new documents are part of the Snowden leaks and were first published on Monday by The Intercept.
The new search tool, called ICREACH, is described in an internal NSA presentation as a “large scale expansion of communications metadata shared with [intelligence community] partners.” That same presentation shows that ICREACH has been operational since the pilot launched in May 2007. Not only is data being shared to more agencies, but there are more types of such data being shared—ICREACH searches over 850 billion records.
New data types being shared include IMEI numbers (a unique identifier on each mobile handset), IMSI (another unique identifier for SIM cards), GPS coordinates, e-mail address, and chat handles, among others. Previously, such metadata was only limited to date, time, duration, called number, and calling number."
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