Privacy is eroding fast as technology offers government increasing ways to track and spy on citizens. The Washington Post reported there are 3,984 federal, state and local organizations working on domestic counterterrorism. Most collect information on people in the U.S. Here are thirteen examples of how some of the biggest government agencies and programs track people.
One. The National Security Agency (NSA) collects hundreds of millions of emails, texts and phone calls every day and has the ability to collect and sift through billions more. WIRED just reported that the NSA is building an immense new data center which will intercept, analyze and store even more electronic communications from satellites and cables across the nation and the world. Though the NSA is not supposed to focus on U.S. citizens, it does.
Two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Security Branch Analysis Center (NSAC) has more than 1.5 billion government and private sector records about U.S. citizens collected from commercial databases, government information, and criminal probes.
Three. The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times recently reported that cellphones of private individuals in the U.S. are being tracked without warrants by state and local law enforcement all across the country. With more than 300 million cellphones in the U.S. connected to more than 200,000 cell phone towers, cellphone tracking software can pinpoint the location of a phone and document the places the cellphone user visits over the course of a day, week, month or longer.
Four. More than 62 million people in the U.S. have their fingerprints on file with the FBI, state and local governments. This system, called the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), shares information with 43 states and 5 federal agencies. This system conducts more than 168,000 checks each day.
Five. Over 126 million people have their fingerprints, photographs and biographical information accessible on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT). This system conducts about 250,000 biometric transactions each day. The goal of this system is to provide information for national security, law enforcement, immigration, intelligence and other Homeland Security Functions...