NSA Tracks Cellphones for Drone Targeting

The NSA’s cellphone-surveillance technology isn’t just used to listen in on conversations and map social networks—it’s become an invaluable tool in targeting drone strikes. The Washington Post reports that since 2001, the NSA has increasingly used real-time cellphone tracking to target individuals abroad, which the agency can do even when phones are turned off. The Geo Cell, which is in charge of real-time targeting, developed the motto “We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em.” The demand for real-time targeting is one of the primary drivers behind the agency’s rapid expansion. Since 2001, the NSA’s budget has doubled, its workforce has grown by one third, and the number of private companies it contracts with has more than tripled.