Newly published documents from the Edward Snowden archive show that researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab and Harvard University have worked with the NSA on a program called SKYNET, which uses bulk location and call records to look for patterns and associations. The program appears to be directed at Pakistan, although the underlying technology could be used to analyze data collected on Americans through the Section 215 dragnets.
The June 2012 document poses the question: “Given a handful of courier selectors, can we find others that ‘behave similarly’” by analyzing cell phone metadata? “We are looking for different people using phones in similar ways,” the presentation continues, and measuring “pattern of life, social network, and travel behavior.”
For the experiment, the analysts fed 55 million cell phone records from Pakistan into the system, the document states.
The results identified someone who is “PROB” — which appears to mean probably — Zaidan…
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