10 December 2013

NSA ♥ Facebook

A while back, the Washington Post reported on a set of leaked NSA slides that most people seem to have ignored.

There was one interesting piece of data in the report that I think deserves more attention. On the slide titled “Address Books” is a table setting out how many people’s address books have been collected, and how many are “Attributed” — that is, how many allow the NSA to tie an online ID to a real named person.

Here’s the data as a table, to make it easier to read:

Provider Collected Attributed Attributed%
Yahoo 444743 11009 2.48%
Hotmail 105068 1115 1.06%
Gmail 33697 2350 6.97%
Facebook 82857 79437 95.87%
Other 22881 1175 5.14%
Total 689246 95086 13.80%

Notice that Facebook is far and away the NSA’s best source of information about you and your friends. Doing the math, 79437/95086 = 84% of the NSA’s information linking named individuals to their friends online is sourced from Facebook.

© mathew 2017