The NSA revelations all in one chart
Julia Angwin  and  Jeff Larson (ProPublica) 01 July 2014

ProPublica plotted the NSA programs, showing which ones fall squarely into the agency's stated mission of foreign surveillance, and which ones are more controversial

Illustrations by Alberto Cairo (special to ProPublica)

This is a plot of the NSA programs revealed in the past year according to whether they are bulk or targeted, and whether the targets of surveillance are foreign or domestic. Most of the programs fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, but some – particularly those that are both domestic and broad-sweeping – are more controversial.

Just as with the New York Magazine approval matrix that served as our inspiration, the placement of each program is based on judgments and is approximate.

For more details, read our FAQ or listen to our podcast. Also, take our quiz to test your NSA knowledge.


 

 

Program Name

Description

Agency

Bulk?

Targeted?

Foreign?

Domestic?

Squeaky Dolphin

A British effort to monitor YouTube video views, URLS "liked" on Facebook and Blogger visits.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Optic Nerve

A British program to bulk collect images from Yahoo webcam chats: "It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person."

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Honey Traps

A British spy effort to conduct covert Internet investigations, including sexual "honey-traps."

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Hacking Anonymous

A British spy unit to monitor hacktivists such as the group Anonymous.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Royal Concierge

A GCHQ program to monitor hotel reservations for "governmental hard targets."

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Swedish-American surveillance of Russia

A Swedish-American effort to spy on Russian leadership.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Turmoil

A large network of clandestine surveillance "sensors" to collect data from satellites, cables, and microwave communications around the world.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Turbine

A network of active command and control servers around the world that can be used for "industrial scale exploitation."

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Internet Metadata

A program, ended in 2011, to sweep up domestic Internet metadata such as the To and From fields in emails.

NSA

✓

   

✓

SecondDate

A so-called man-in-the-middle attack for "mass exploitation" of traffic "passing through network choke points" as well as "surgical target selection."

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Buddy List, Address Book Spying

An NSA effort to collect hundreds of millions of contact lists from email and instant messaging accounts.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Program to Discredit Militants

An NSA effort to spy on targets' online sexual activity.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

HappyFoot

An NSA effort to use Web cookies and data from phone apps to identify users' devices and physical locations.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

50,000 implants

An NSA map of the 50,000 computers worldwide it has implanted with surveillance malware.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Targeting Embassies

An NSA operation targeting the Italian embassy in Washington D.C.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Shotgiant

An NSA program to break into Chinese-owned Huawei networks and products.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Wellspring

An NSA program to collect images from emails for facial recognition.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Dishfire

An NSA program to collect up to 200 million text messages a day worldwide.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Gilgamesh

An NSA program to geolocate people's SIM cards via Predator drones.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

WillowVixen

An NSA technique to deploy malware by sending out emails that trick targets into clicking a malicious link.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Tapping Underseas Cables

Companies - including BT, Vodafone, and Verizon Business - gave GCHQ access to their underseas cables.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

LinkedIn Hack

Engineers at a Belgian telcom were infected with malware, via a technique called QuantumInsert, when they pulled up their LinkedIn profiles.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Cellphone Location Test

In 2010 and 2011, the NSA tested bulk collection of location data from Americans cellphones.

NSA

✓

   

✓

Bullrun

Joint NSA and GCHQ effort to undermine and weaken cryptography standards and tools.

NSA and GCHQ

✓

 

✓

✓

Angry Birds

NSA and GCHQ efforts to intercept information transmitted by phone apps, including Angry Birds.

NSA and GCHQ

✓

 

✓

 

Hacking OPEC

NSA and GCHQ programs to infiltrate the OPEC oil cartel

NSA and GCHQ

 

✓

✓

 

Hacking Al Jazeera

NSA hacked into Al Jazeera's internal communications system.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

QuantumTheory

NSA programs that inject spyware onto targets' computers through so-called "man on the side" attacks. Variants include QuantumInsert, QuantumBiscuit, and QuantumSmackdown.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Hammerchant / Hammerstein

NSA programs to spy on data sent through voice over IP calls and Virtual Private Networks.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Surveillance of 2009 U.N. Climate Change conference

NSA surveillance of the 2009 U.N. Climate Change conference.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

EgotisticalGoat and EgotisticalGiraffe

The Egotistical animal programs are techniques to track users of Tor anonymizing software.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Muscular

The NSA and GCHQ have jointly operated a program to intercept data from Yahoo and Google networks.

NSA and GCHQ

✓

 

✓

 

Spying on Gamers

The NSA and GCHQ monitored games including World of Warcraft.

NSA and GCHQ

✓

 

✓

 

Co-Traveler/ FASCIA

The NSA collected 5 billion records a day of cellphone locations worldwide.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

G8 and G20 Summit Spying

The NSA conducted surveillance during the 2010 G8 and G20 summits in Canada.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Cracking cellphone encryption

The NSA has the capability to defeat a widely-used cellphone encryption technology.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Hacking Angela Merkel

The NSA targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

VictoryDance

The NSA tested a technique for using drones to map "the Wi-Fi fingerprint of nearly every major town in Yemen."

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

Prism

The Prism program collects data from the servers of U.S. technology companies.

NSA

✓

   

✓

NoseySmurf, TrackerSmurf, DreamySmurf, ParanoidSmurf

The Smurf programs get inside iPhones and Android devices, turning on microphones, tracking location, and managing power.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

Upstream

The Upstream program collects communications transiting the Internet via commercial partners codenamed Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, and Oakstar.

NSA

✓

 

✓

✓

Phone Metadata

The well-known and controversial program to collect of phone call records - aka metadata - of nearly all Americans.

NSA

✓

   

✓

Tracfin

Tracfin amasses gigabytes of data about credit card purchases.

NSA

✓

 

✓

 

ANT catalog

Various techniques - with names like IronChef and DropoutJeep - used to inject surveillance software into Apple, Cisco, Dell and other products.

NSA

 

✓

✓

 

 

 

 

Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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