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Intelligence Analysts Use U.S. Smartphone Location Data Without Warrants

The Defense Intelligence Agency appears to be mainly buying and using location data for investigations about foreigners abroad; one of its main missions is detecting threats to American forces stationed around the world.

But, the memo said, the unidentified broker or brokers from which the government buys bulk smartphone location data does not separate American and foreign users. The Defense Intelligence Agency instead processes the data as it arrives to filter those records which appear to be on domestic soil and puts them in a separate database.

The disclosure comes amid growing legislative scrutiny of how the government uses commercially available location records.


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