If you have ever searched the Internet for something the NSA has deemed “suspicious”, you have probably been flagged or put on a list. That’s what a series of newly published secret documents get to. This of course causes new privacy concerns about the pervasive reach of the NSA’s global surveillance programs.
The new release compounds the earlier disclosures, revealing how the NSA can use XKEYSCORE to collect and monitor huge troves of data on unencrypted Internet browsing sessions in countries across the world, not only the US.
In one 30-day period in 2012, at least 41 billion total records were collected and stored in XKEYSCORE, according to the Guardian.
This XKEYSCORE is now becoming outdated due to the increasing use of encryption among internet users.
in 2008, information that was leaked suggests that the NSA is able to decrypt data on users who are utlizing a Virtual Private Netowork (VPN) in order to anonymize their Internet use by masking their IP address. The NSA claims it can “discover the users” of VPNs, suggesting, again, that people using encryption or anonymizing tools may find themselves targeted as suspicious merely for attempting to protect the privacy of their communications.