back to article New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest during the noughties, the NSA massively expanded the information it shared with its Five Eyes allies and other agencies. In slides given to The Intercept, the NSA boasts that its ICREACH program “increases NSA communications metadata sharing from 50 billion records to 850+ billion …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    I hope its not too late to start the second American Revolution?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BIG problem with meta data..

    .. is that it enables people to draw conclusions that may not be backed up by facts (typically you need the actual underlying data for that, such as the content of email and phone calls).

    People in Intelligence (well, the intelligent ones) know that you are always talking about probabilities and likelihoods, but those further down the food chain (and higher up) tend to take such conclusions as hard facts. Thus no-fly lists that are wrong and politicians getting away with proclaiming wars on facts that aren't (and having to kill the people that are capable of telling the one from the other, but let's avoid the conspiracy theories today).

    Giving others access to such data to draw some more wrong conclusions is this very bad indeed - especially since they shouldn't have that data in the first place if it's "alien" (non-US entities).

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge


    Given the stated goals of the five-eyes information sharing, am I the only one who find the make up of five-eyes list curious? While sharing information on terrorist and other threats may be seen as a lofty goal, would it be much more effective to include other partners closer to the perceived sources of modern threats?

    Or maybe we just haven't seen that list yet?

    1. plrndl

      Re: Curious?

      They don't trust anyone who doesn't speak English as a native language.

      1. Barrie Shepherd

        Re: Curious?

        They don't trust anyone who doesn't speak American as a native language.

        Fixed it!

  4. Beau

    As the old saying goes.

    They're all terrorist you know,

    except thee and me,

    but not too sure about thee lately.

  5. WalterAlter

    OK, So Who Are the UNNOFICIAL Customers for All This Booty?

    You think the various nations' Intel agencies are the only recipients of this slag heap of data, don't you. Is that a creepy horror show laugh I'm hearing?

  6. phil dude

    not a surprise....

    I am not surprised by this news, but based on an empirical experience with traveling trans-atlantic between USA and UK.

    I suspect since the credit card company knows where you are ( and obviously the airlines), and sell the data to send us all junk mail.

    I am looking at you $AIRLINE Credit card offers, that follow me around the world....


  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Moment of nostalgia

    Remember the Hunt for Red October ?

    Specifically, the part where Ramius (Connery) is discussing their future plans with his second-in-command, who, at one point, asks "You can travel from one state to another, freely ?" and Ramius answers "Yes, state to state".

    My memory is not perfect on that exchange, but the gist is that the US was once a country where the government was not concerned where its citizens were at any given time, whereas Soviet Russia was controlling anyone who wanted to travel outside of their current state. The exchange was a reminder of the level of control Soviet Russia exerted on its citizens, the amount of freedom its citizens did not have.

    And now, welcome to USA 2.0 (*) - where the NSA controls not only your whereabouts 24/7, but also who you talk to, when you do it and for how long.

    (*) - package available for export on request, no hurry, plenty of models available for all budgets - get a tailor-made version for your country now !

    1. Amiga500

      Re: Moment of nostalgia

      The NSA controls your whereabouts?

      Wow really? Where are they sending you today?

      1. FormerKowloonTonger

        Re: Moment of nostalgia


        "......a massive increase in the metadata the NSA was storing. The date, time, duration, called number and calling party – "


        But not the content of the calls.

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