The Intercept, an online publication launched in February 2014 has published 48 top-secret and classified documents released by Edward Snowden about XKEYSCORE, one of NSA’s most powerful tools of surveillance, which enables its agents to search for sensitive data like passwords, emails, messages, etc. “as easy as typing a few words in Google.”
Servers of XKEYSCORE have storages which collect “full-take data,” which is information gathered from all of the traffic that it gathers. The Intercept stated that NSA documents show over tens of billions of records that are currently stored in its database. The NSA briefing on XKEYSCORE read:
“It is a fully distributed processing and query system that runs on machines around the world. At field sites, XKEYSCORE can run on multiple computers that gives it the ability to scale in both processing power and storage.”
Apart from emails, chats and traffic, Snowden’s released documents revealed that data collected by XKEYSCORE include pictures, documents, voice calls, webcam photos, web searches, advertising analytics traffic, social media traffic, botnet traffic, logged keystrokes, computer network exploitation targeting, intercepted username and password pairs, file uploads to online services, and even Skype sessions.
According to a document published in 2013 entitled “VoIP Configuration and