The NSA has its own Google-like search engine

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We know through various revelations and leaked documents that the USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) have amassed a huge amount of data on people and places that they deem “interesting”, but how would you make this information available to local law enforcement agencies?

If you are the NSA, you of course build your own Google-like search engine, called ICREACH. The custom search engine allows about 12 government agencies to tap into more than 850 billion records of phone calls, emails, mobile phone locations, and internet chats gathered by the NSA over the years.

The classified documents obtained by news publication The Intercept “provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies,” it wrote.

According to the documents detailing the planning phases of ICREACH, the main contributors for the search engine is the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy,” The Intercept wrote.

The birth of ICREACH can be traced back to an almost 20-year old programme called Project CRISSCROSS where the CIA and the DEA built up a database of phone billing records and phone directories, to link interested parties together. First used in Latin America, it was considered to be “extremely successful” in linking and identifying narcotics suspects.

The read the full, very detailed The Intercept article, click here.

[Source – The Intercept]

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.