as you can read in this Washington Post story, just up, written in part by Barton Gellman using his access to the documents provided by Edward Snowden.
The snips I offer will be without the hot links, which you can get from the original piece.
The opening paragraph reads
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.And then there is this:
In scale, scope and potential impact on privacy, the efforts to collect and analyze location data may be unsurpassed among the NSA surveillance programs that have been disclosed since June. Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among individuals using them.There is much more to the article.
Americans are not being targeted for nw, but the data is being gathered and stored, which allows retrospective searching for relationships.
And remember this:
Still, location data, especially when aggregated over time, is widely regarded among privacy advocates as uniquely sensitive. Sophisticated mathematical techniques enable NSA analysts to map cellphone owners’ relationships by correlating their patterns of movement over time with thousands or millions of other phone users who cross their paths. Cellphones broadcast their locations even when they are not being used to place a call or send a text.So how important is our use of electronics, including our cell phones, and what are we now surrendering to the government in return for the convenience we gain?
Oh, and do most Americans realizes how little privacy we have left?
Have a nice day, if you can.