News & AnalysisComputer Science

Network Science at Center of Surveillance Dispute

Science  14 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6138, pp. 1272
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6138.1272

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Summary

Last week, civil libertarians cried foul when press reports revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting cell phone records and Internet data from companies such as Verizon, Facebook, and Skype. From the nature of the data, scientists say it's clear that NSA is performing network analysis, a type of science that aims to identify social groups from the connections among people. And NSA is hardly the only organization doing such work, researchers say. Private companies are already tracing people's social circles.