The program allows to scan and search on databases, emails, online chats and browsing histories of million individuals without authorization.
XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known to the analyst.
Xkeyscore is the “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet, NSA boasts.
That revelation of the tool supports Edward Snowden’s claimed when interviews by theGuardian that even when sitting, he can just wiretype anyone, including the president if had a personal email.
Here are few slides (images) published by theguardian from the program.
Because searching from a vast database will result too many data, metadata are also stored in database to filter what to see.
The NSA documents assert that by 2008, 300 terrorists had been captured using intelligence from XKeyscore.
In 2012, there were at least 41 billion total records collected and stored in XKeyscore for a single 30-day period. Where in some sites, the amount of data receives 20+terabyte per day.
As reply to Snowden’s allegations, the NSA explained:
“XKeyscore is used as a part of NSA’s lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system.”
“These types of programs allow us to collect the information that enables us to perform our missions successfully – to defend the nation and to protect US and allied troops abroad.”
Note: All images used are credited to theguardian.com