Things certainly just got much more awkward for the National Security Agency.
“The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world,” The Washington Post reports.
The collected data allows analysts to map previously unknown relationships of terrorists and foreign agents.
The NSA’s collection of cell phone location data, while previously unknown, falls under the agency’s mandate to gather signals intelligence.
In June, however, the Justice Department denied that the U.S. government was secretly tracking the cellphone locations of Americans.
“The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones ‘incidentally,’ a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result,” reports the Post.