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7 more things NSA could be watching, according to security experts

John Brandon | Jan. 22, 2014
We know the National Security Agency monitors emails and social networks. What else could the NSA be monitoring? Security experts offer their (scary) thoughts.

Porn Site Visits
The Huffington Post spelled out another surveillance technique: The NSA can track visits to porn sites, presumably as a way to discredit an insurgent, according to the report. By monitoring this activity, the NSA can track terrorists who are looking for new recruits and then discredit them by revealing their embarrassing activity on adult sites as a way of showing that they are less "radicalized" than they say.

Online Games
A recent New York Times article claims the NSA can track your online game usage. Documents released by Edward Snowden, the CIA computer specialist turned whistleblower, suggest that the NSA monitors online video games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life to look for suspicious online chats or even virtual exchanges of massive amounts of money - potentially as a way to convert the currency into U.S. dollars or to sell virtual goods on eBay.

Closed-circuit Security Feeds
The experts also note that the NSA probably monitors closed-circuit security feeds - à la the television show Person of Interest and the widely known surveillance networks in cities such as Chicago. Similar to the algorithms used to track credit card purchases and scan for Flickr uploads, the CCTV monitoring likely looks for trigger events such as testing explosives. These days, agents don't sit at a terminal watching the feeds; software can detect suspicious activity and flag it.

 

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