NSA planned on tracking Americans via cellphone GPS but then shelved the idea

gps tracking

The National Security Agency (NSA) has been quite busy over the last couple of years in its attempt to track persons in the U.S. of A. According to a new report via the New York Times, the NSA was playing around with the idea of tracking folks via their cellphone back in 2010; however, the idea was later dropped.

“In 2010 and 2011 N.S.A. received samples in order to test the ability of its systems to handle the data format, but that data was not used for any other purpose and was never available for intelligence analysis purposes,” according to a draft of the report via the NYT.

Obviously, the NSA has repeatedly denied tracking American citizens, but leaked data revealed that GPS data is used to create a link of suspects tied to Americans. On the matter of the NSA pulling the plug on its cellphone tracking idea, we’re not sure why the agency chose this route. Probably the technology wasn’t refined at the time, but with almost every smartphone having GPS nowadays, what is stopping the NSA from attempting this feat once more.

“After years of stonewalling on whether the government has ever tracked or planned to track the location of law-abiding Americans through their cellphones, once again, the intelligence leadership has decided to leave most of the real story secret; even when the truth would not compromise national security,” according to Senator Ron Wyden.

Let’s hope John McAfee finishes work on his NSA block device quickly, because things are beginning to heat up in here.

[via NYT, image via Byte Works]

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