NSA Looks at Americans’ Social Networks

The agency is using phone, other records to map out relationships

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The National Security Agency is reportedly creating its own sort of Facebook for U.S. citizens.

The agency has been using the massive data sets collected from monitoring phone and email records to map out Americans’ social connections, the New York Times reports, citing newly obtained documents and unnamed officials. That newly analyzed data can identify a person’s friends, locations, traveling companions and other personal information.

The paper reports the NSA can use material like insurance information, passenger manifests, Facebook profiles, voter registration rolls and more to add to the communications data it scoops up.

A spokeswoman for the agency, which has been under greater scrutiny since disclosure of its sweeping phone-data collection program earlier this year, told the Times: “All data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period.”