The NSA May Be Watching Way More People Than You Think

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Apparently it not only knows who a suspect is talking to, but who those people are talking to, and then who those people are talking to.

The National Security Agency appears to be tracking data from more people—way, way more people—than it had previously admitted, the Atlantic Wire reported. In congressional testimony yesterday, NSA deputy director Chris Inglis "casually" indicated that the agency looks "two to three hops" from terror suspects. That means the agency monitor not only the people terror suspects talk to on the phone, but also who those people talk to—and then who those people talk to.

The Washington Post reported last month that NSA analysts are taught to chain through "two hops" worth of contacts. Three hops will tend to sweep up data from a vast number of additional people. Former Economist writer Julian Sanchez put this all in perspective:

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