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Amount Of Internet Surveyed By The NSA Is Much Larger Than It Appears

August 13th, 2013

Although a memo was released last week by the NSA with the goal of shedding light on its operations and reducing fear amongst the public, some are saying that the organization is covering much more ground that it appears to be on the surface. In the memo, the NSA stated that the amount of traffic examined by its analysts accounts for 0.00004% of all the internet traffic in the world, or about one dime’s worth of space on a basketball court. But closer inspection has revealed that that dime’s worth of space actually accounts for much more – about 29.21 petabytes more – than NSA numbers would have us believe.

29 petabytes per day is roughly equivalent to almost 3 terabits per second. To put the numbers in perspective, search engine giant Google only processes 20 petabytes of internet data per day. That’s quite a frightening amount of data, considering that the NSA memo used harmless -sounding terms like ‘touch’ , ‘select’ and ‘look at’ when describing how the seemingly small amount of data it accessed was being handled. When just one packet of IP data was captured an analyzed, it was found to contain a lot of data, including where the user is surfing from, what they are searching for and the last web address they visited.