What exactly does metadata mean, anyway?

I've already discussed how it means that the NSA will scan the content of your emails for key words. But the NSA apparently considers your cell phone location data to be "metadata" it can access without a warrant, too.

The big issue is again what the heck we mean by "metadata." NSA officials and defenders have been downplaying the word ever since Snowden's leaks began, trying to convince us all it's just basic, non-private info. But one of the documents The Intercept has published shows that the NSA has added 25 additional forms of "metadata" past what used to be traditionally accepted: phone numbers called, what time and what length of calls and the like. The new description of metadata includes everything from unique cellphone codes, passport and flight records, visa application records, and cellphone location data.

To the NSA, metadata means "We don't need a warrant" and that's about it.

And then there's the question as to whether this massive expansion in metadata gathering is being used not to fight terrorists but to help secure domestic crime convictions through "parallel construction" processes, secretly sharing this info with local law enforcement agencies

After 9-11, Congress passed the Patriot Act (the first of many such pieces of security legislation) with the promise that it would only be used against terrorists. Rather than keep that promise, they lied to courts, judges, and the people.

This entry was published Wed Aug 27 12:44:34 CDT 2014 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2014-08-26 21:38:39.0. [Tweet]

comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to Atom Feed

I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice.

This site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.

This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.