NSA collects millions of facial images a day

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

NSA spy
This protest image shows the American eagle listening in on conversations through AT&T.

Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee, has leaked all kinds of top secret information about the USA’s government spy organization over the past year. Many of his revelations have rocked the globe, upsetting both foreign governments and American citizens who found out that their phones and computers were monitored by the NSA. Now, Snowden’s latest revelation is that the NSA collects millions of images a day from people’s gadgets!

Yep, all those Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter selfies you’ve been posting just might be locked away in an NSA database, because Snowden says the government’s building a mega collection. Why? Well, facial recognition software allows them to scan your face so that computers can easily identify you in the future. By creating a huge pile of saved pictures, they can easily find people who may cause trouble for the nation.

While ordinary citizens aren’t likely to arouse suspicion and the NSA claims this is to protect people from terror attacks, critics are saying it violates our right to privacy.

Basically, your text messages, e-mails, video messaging, and just about any kind of electronic communication with photo capabilities just might be tracked and filed away. An NSA spokesperson responded to the report published by the New York Times, explaining, “We would not be doing our job if we didn’t seek ways to continuously improve the precision of signals intelligence activities – aiming to counteract the efforts of valid foreign intelligence targets to disguise themselves or conceal plans to harm the United States and its allies.”

Featured image courtesy of NASA. Image of eagle spy courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation.