The NSA is reportedly scraping through around 200 million text messages a day as part of its "Dishfire" program, according to The Guardian. Edward Snowden allegedly fed even more information to the publication, claiming government officials are analyzing "untargeted" texts in an effort to keep tabs on suspected terrorists activity. Once the texts are collected—by a separate group called "Prefer"—a detailed report is then provided to the NSA. Snowden's information allegedly comes by way of an internal NSA presentation calling SMS messages a "goldmine."
Through the Dishfire program, the NSA pretty much has access to whatever information it wants, including names, numbers, images and more. That means texts can reveal financial transactions, calendar information and anything else you're sending to friends and family. Even missed calls, SIM card info, and passwords are supposedly being collected. Basically, if you own a phone, and you text, the NSA knows about it, and can collect and analyze whatever's going on during your day-to-day. Now whether you're interesting enough for the NSA to take any real interest is another matter.
According to information provided to The Guardian, documents suggest information collected within the U.S. is eventually removed. But data gathered on targets overseas is stored for much longer, because the agency is "focused and specifically deployed against—and only against—valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements," an NSA spokesperson said. The documents are vague on just how big the NSA's database of information is, but it probably isn't small. The Guardian said that the NSA told analysts to keep searches below 1,800 numbers, which gives you an idea of the scale.
President Obama is scheduled to give a speech on public surveillance on Jan. 17, when he will talk about making changes to the NSA and its practices. When you consider just how comprehensive the program is—collecting phone records, tapping into computers not on Wi-Fi, etc.—making changes will certainly be a big ask. Is the government really committed to making changes because it feels it's the right thing to do, or because it got caught? I wonder what other information Snowden has up his sleeve.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Make your foliage a feature with the best plant stands
Really show off your home's foliage with a plant stand that makes your greenery a statement, rather than just background noise. We've found a dozen desirable plant stand solutions to suit all types of spaces, all styles of decor and all kinds of plants.