While the Obama administration has made statements that the NSA’s surveillance program only targets individuals connected with foreign intelligence or terrorism, top secret documents revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden demonstrate the contrary.
The NSA retains “vast amounts of metadata” that allow analysts to put together a full picture of a year of a person’s life, reports The Guardian.
Metadata, or data about data, includes phone numbers, email addresses, and call and browsing history.
Internet metadata is stored in a database called Marina, while phone metadata is stored in a separate database.
The New York Times revealed on Saturday that the agency was mapping the social connections of all U.S. citizens with the information collected from its surveillance programs regardless of their innocence.
The Hill reported Monday that the Senate is set to move on legislation that would curb the NSA’s spying powers, but the end bill would probably do little to assuage the fears privacy advocates.