SKYNET: #NSA’s Electronic Stalking Program

Posted: May 10, 2015 in Tech

Newly published documents from the Edward Snowden archive show that researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab and Harvard University have worked with the NSA on a program called SKYNET, which uses bulk location and call records to look for patterns and associations. The program appears to be directed at Pakistan, although the underlying technology could be used to analyze data collected on Americans through the Section 215 dragnets.

The June 2012 document poses the question: “Given a handful of courier selectors, can we find others that ‘behave similarly’” by analyzing cell phone metadata? “We are looking for different people using phones in similar ways,” the presentation continues, and measuring “pattern of life, social network, and travel behavior.”

For the experiment, the analysts fed 55 million cell phone records from Pakistan into the system, the document states.

The results identified someone who is “PROB” — which appears to mean probably — Zaidan as the “highest scoring selector” traveling between Peshawar and Lahore.

The following slide appears to show other top hits, noting that 21 of the top 500 were previously tasked for surveillance, indicating that the program is “on the right track” to finding people of interest. A portion of that list visible on the slide includes individuals supposedly affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as well as members of Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence. But sometimes the descriptions are vague. One selector is identified simply as “Sikh Extremist.”

Full Story @ [The Intercept]

Advertisements
Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s