(The Hosting News) – On Monday, The Washington Post reported that the National Security Agency has been secretly tracking consumers by their cookies and data locations.
Leaked slides from an internal presentation provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA has been using Google cookies and data location to identify targets for government hacking.
The agency, and its British counterpart, GCHQ, have specifically been using the “PREF” cookie, a unique cookie that Google assigns when someone’s browser makes a connection with a company’s web services.
The cookie contains a specific numeric code which allows websites to specifically identify a person’s browser.
This information is among the data the NSA can obtain with a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act order, in which companies would legally have to assist in.
Additionally, the NSA has also been using “commercially gathered information to help it locate mobile devices around the world,” states the leaked documents.
These techniques are not used for sifting through information to find suspicious behavior, but rather to let the agencies further investigate someone already under suspicion.