ICREACH: NSA Built A Google Of Americans' Info

The Intercept published an article Monday profiling what the online publication called NSA's very own Google of personal data.

ICREACH: NSA Built A Google Of Americans' Info
Greg Goebel / CC BY SA 2.0

The NSA apparently has quite the way to search out and distribute personal data, and the media outlet that profiled the revelation helped everyone else make one overwhelming comparison.

In headline after headline after headline, the program called ICREACH was compared to the NSA's own version of Google.

And who can blame them with a clever presentation like this from The Intercept, a Google interface with the name replaced. It's even complete with an "I'm Feeling Invasive" button and an email account for the former NSA director in the spot to log in.

"The documents suggest these results can be used reveal the 'social network' of the person of interest—in other words, those that they communicate with, such as friends, family, and other associates."

The Intercept says it uncovered details on ICREACH through the NSA files released by Edward Snowden. While it monitors the private communications of foreigners, Ryan Gallagher writes ICREACH has kept millions of records on Americans who've never been accused of wrongdoing.

Gallagher says documents revealed the program has access to about 850 billion records of phone calls, emails and more.

A 2007 memo revealed the FBI, CIA, DEA and others as core members of the ICREACH program, but this 2010 memo shows analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies had access to it.

Whether this is actually the first time we've heard about NSA's Google is debatable. The Intercept is published in part by Glenn Greenwald, one of Snowden's first journalist contacts and an outspoken supporter of the exiled former NSA contractor.

The Hacker News quickly pointed out Greenwald's book "No Place To Hide" briefly mentioned the program without going into much detail.

Greenwald himself, however, hailed the article on ICREACH and the documents they profiled as "new" in several tweets Monday.

Since Snowden's massive security breach and leak of documents, the NSA's former director and other intelligence officials have insisted while analysts have access to records of U.S. citizens, they only monitor perceived threats.

New details on ICREACH will likely only stoke public skepticism of just how broadly the U.S. intelligence system's programs reach.

This video contains images from Getty Images and Greg Goebel / CC BY SA 2.0.