NSA Built 'Google-like' Search Engine for Metadata

NSA The National Security Agency built a "Google-like" search engine to give domestic and international government agencies access to details of billions of calls, texts and instant messages sent by millions of people, according to The Intercept. The search engine, called ICReach, had behind it roughly 850 billion pieces of metadata in 2007 on calls made largely but not exclusively by foreign nationals, the report said. Metadata is the data the surrounds a communication but not the contents of the message or telephone call itself. In the case of ICReach, the program includes the date, time and duration of calls, the number of the caller and destination, and, in the case of a mobile telephone, the unique IMEI number of the handset being used, according to a document published earlier this year by the American Civil Liberties Union. Additional documents published by The Intercept said it also includes details of the cellular network and base station being used, the latitude and longitude in the case of an Inmarsat satellite call, an email address in the case of an Internet message and a chat handle in the case of an instant message.

Read the full story at ComputerWorld.