NSA tracks about five billion mobile-phone location records every day

December 5, 2013

(Credit: Verizon and NSA)

Based on the Edward Snowden documents, the NSA logs almost five billion mobile phone location records every day around the world via its CO-TRAVELER system, reports the Washington Post — a staggering total of 27 terabytes so far, by one account.

The data comes from tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally and that serve U.S. cellphones as well as foreign ones. “Sophisticated mathematical tech­niques enable NSA analysts to map cellphone owners’ relationships by correlating their patterns of movement over time with thousands or millions of other phone users who cross their paths,” according to the Post.