How many targets to yield 534 million call detail records?

Posted on May 5, 2018  /  0 Comments

It is one thing to talk about the second circle of associates in terms of lawful interception, as we did in our bulk surveillance paper that will be out of review shortly. It is quite something else to see how many records are actually yielded by surveillance of a relatively small number of targets. In 2017, 543 million records were collected from surveillance of just 40 people.

In 2016, the first full year for which that replacement system was in operation, the government obtained orders to target 42 people and collected just over 151 million call detail records. In 2017, the government obtained orders for 40 targets. (The orders generate data for 180 days, so some of the 2016 orders kept generating additional data in 2017, and some of the 2017 orders may have been reauthorizations of expiring 2016 orders pegged to the same targets.)


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