The NSA’s FASCIA program tracks and collects location data of people around the world, including both U.S. citizens traveling abroad or who are connected to suspects of interest.

The FASCIA program was first brought to light by Edward Snowden through The Washington Post, where an article stated that nearly 5 billion records are collected every day, in the case that 1% of that information proves useful (Gellman 2013).

The statistic Gellman provided shows that mass surveillance programs, like FASCIA, are ineffective. Terabytes of data are collected every day, with no feasible way of determining how much information is collected on U.S. citizens.

Internal NSA memo on the FASCIA program
An internal NSA Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID) memo on the FASCIA program. [2]

# Sources

  1. Gellman, Barton, and Ashkan Soltani. “NSA Tracking Cellphone Locations Worldwide, Snowden Documents Show.” The Washington Post, December 4, 2013. https://washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-tracking-cellphone-locations-worldwide-snowden-documents-show/2013/12/04/5492873a-5cf2-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html (opens new window).
  2. The Rewards of Metadata. Snowden Archive -- The SIDtoday Files. The Intercept, December 7, 2016. https://theintercept.com/snowden-sidtoday/3232989-the-rewards-of-metadata/ (opens new window).