What is XKeyscore and how can it track your personal information?

By Sidharth | Features

Imagine a tool that can track your browsing history, email conversations and access all your Facebook chats? There is a tool that does all this and much more, and it’s called XKeyscore.

See: NSA Program Accesses Facebook Chats, Browsing History And Email Conversation.

Let’s find out more about XKeyscore.

XKeyscore: What is it?

XKeyscore is a secret surveillance program (call it a “spy tool” if you will) that can track nearly everything that happens on the Internet. The program has been effectively used to collect phone calling data and other textual information (chat, email messages), with the primary intent to spy/monitor any terror threats.

Accessing Email Messages Using Spying Tools

Using XKeyscore to access emails

Massive amount of digital data of an individual can be collected through this program and stored in the database.

XKeyscore: What can it do?

According to The Guardian, XKeyscore application allows analysts to access anyone’s email inbox by simply typing their primary email address. Specific email conversations and messages can be searched instantly. Even private Facebook conversation, as shown in the picture below, can be accessed.

Accessing Facebook Private Messages using XKeyscore

Using XKeyscore to access Facebook account

The NSA analyst can also use XKeyscore on websites. For example, if someone is visiting a website then the program reveals the specific IP address of the visitor, which can be further used to track the visitor’s identify and phone number.

XKeyscore: How does it work?

All it takes is a few keystrokes to find information of any person. The analyst can type the email address of the person into the program, only then the private information — from Facebook chat logs to Internet browsing history — will be revealed on the screen.

As Snowden said to the Guardian on June 10, “I, sitting at my desk could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.”

XKeyscore does not rely or co-operate with ISP to get access to these private information.

Xkeyscore Plugins

List of plug-ins XKeyscore supports.

XKeyscore: Should you worry?

Access to XKeyscore, as well as all of NSA’s analytic tools, is limited to only to a handful number of people. Over 300 terrorists, according to the leaked document, were captured with the help of this tool.

Xkeyscore spying helps in finding terrorists

Spying through XKeyscore has thwarted terror attacks.

Still, it’s a matter of concern that everything you do online, all your personal information, can be accessed by someone else in a few clicks.

Xkeyscore database location

Location of XKeyscore servers.

XKeyscore: Does it really work?

Not everyone can download XKeyscore, which means we have to rely on media sources. According to the story on Guardian, the chairman of the House intelligence committee Republican Representative Mike Rogers believes that Snowden is “lying.”

Edward Snowden and Mike Roger on Xkeyscore tool

Left: Edward Snowden. Right: Mike Roger.

If you look at the presentation published by The Guardian, you will notice that the tool has been in existent for a number of years. Global spying was never revealed until now. But if it works the way it’s been described, then any person with access to such system can easily track anyone, anytime.

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!