NSA mass surveillance leaks: Timeline of events to date

NSA mass surveillance leaks: Timeline of events to date

Summary: The U.S. government mass surveillance scandal may be the biggest ongoing story of the year. In this updating timeline, you can explore the full scope of the Edward Snowden leaks, which have implicated the world's most powerful nations in the worldwide spying operation.

SHARE:

 |  Image 1 of 84

  • Introduction: The surveillance scandal in a single slideshow

    The biggest scandals of the year — perhaps even the decade — the U.S. government's massive, global surveillance machine has been hitting headlines in international media, as a result of documents leaked by former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden.

    With dozens of documents already published since they first went live in June 2013, Snowden is slated to have stolen hundreds of thousands of files. Led by The Guardian and The Washington Post on both sides of the Atlantic, numerous other news agencies have also reported the vast number of secret snooping programs. 

    The scandal has implicated numerous high-profile G20 countries in assisting the U.S. government in its intelligence gathering efforts. Meanwhile, many other countries have fallen foul to the U.S.' privacy-invading surveillance techniques. The past six months alone have seen some of the toughest tests to global diplomatic relations since World War II.

    From PRISM to UPSTREAM, ROYAL CONCIERGE and EGOTISTICAL GIRAFFE, there is a lot to take in and plenty more to find out.

    We've gathered all the leaks to date all in one place in this slideshow, which will be kept up to date, for your viewing.

    (News sources: The Guardian; The Washington Post; The New York Times; Der Spiegel; The Wall Street JournalO Globo; CNET; South China Morning Post; Le Monde; CBS News; Reuters; De Standaard; Politico; Wired; The Japan Times)

    Updated on November 25: with two additional slides on NSA malware infiltration, and U.S. working with Singapore and South Korea to tap other South Asian countries.

    Updated on December 4: with four new slides on Australian leaks, and how the NSA is collecting 5 billion cellphone records a day, among others

  • June 6, 2013

    Verizon records vacuumed up by NSA under 'top secret' Patriot Act order

    The Guardian newspaper was first to reveal the U.S. government's demand to to vacuum up millions of Verizon customer details, including information on phone calls both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.

    The data that is being collected on Verizon customers -- including cellular and landline customers -- includes all call details or "metadata," including routing data, such as the originating and recipient phone number; the IMEI unique device identifier; the IMSI number used to identify calls on cellular networks; trunk identifiers; phone calling cards; and the time, date, and duration of the call. 

    Image via The Guardian

    Source: The Guardian

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • Thumbnail 12
  • Thumbnail 13
  • Thumbnail 14
  • Thumbnail 15
  • Thumbnail 16
  • Thumbnail 17
  • Thumbnail 18
  • Thumbnail 19
  • Thumbnail 20
  • Thumbnail 21
  • Thumbnail 22
  • Thumbnail 23
  • Thumbnail 24
  • Thumbnail 25
  • Thumbnail 26
  • Thumbnail 27
  • Thumbnail 28
  • Thumbnail 29
  • Thumbnail 30
  • Thumbnail 31
  • Thumbnail 32
  • Thumbnail 33
  • Thumbnail 34
  • Thumbnail 35
  • Thumbnail 36
  • Thumbnail 37
  • Thumbnail 38
  • Thumbnail 39
  • Thumbnail 40
  • Thumbnail 41
  • Thumbnail 42
  • Thumbnail 43
  • Thumbnail 44
  • Thumbnail 45
  • Thumbnail 46
  • Thumbnail 47
  • Thumbnail 48
  • Thumbnail 49
  • Thumbnail 50
  • Thumbnail 51
  • Thumbnail 52
  • Thumbnail 53
  • Thumbnail 54
  • Thumbnail 55
  • Thumbnail 56
  • Thumbnail 57
  • Thumbnail 58
  • Thumbnail 59
  • Thumbnail 60
  • Thumbnail 61
  • Thumbnail 62
  • Thumbnail 63
  • Thumbnail 64
  • Thumbnail 65
  • Thumbnail 66
  • Thumbnail 67
  • Thumbnail 68
  • Thumbnail 69
  • Thumbnail 70
  • Thumbnail 71
  • Thumbnail 72
  • Thumbnail 73
  • Thumbnail 74
  • Thumbnail 75
  • Thumbnail 76
  • Thumbnail 77
  • Thumbnail 78
  • Thumbnail 79
  • Thumbnail 80
  • Thumbnail 81
  • Thumbnail 82
  • Thumbnail 83
  • Thumbnail 84

Topics: Security, Government US, Government UK

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

30 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • 79 pageloads?

    Really? No thanks. It's a shame, would have been interesting to read.
    -nihilist-
    • There's a single slide link

      If you're interested. On the first slide -- at the bottom. See? Not much, but I hate slideshows as much as anyone else.
      zwhittaker
  • 79 pageloads?

    Really? No thanks. It's a shame, would have been interesting to read.
    -nihilist-
  • Those who sacrifice liberty for security will lose both...

    And we've let the NSA and FISA trample over our civil liberties.

    At this point, we get to complain while out elected representatives lean over and hand more of our Constitutional rights to spy agencies.

    At least someone in the US Government listens...24/7...without a warrant.

    http://www.reagencydesign.com/collections/54275-all-products/products/1673274-nsa-were-still-listening-s-xl
    Ad Astra
  • What Liberty is being sacrificed?

    I've heard it said by many, yet they haven't been able to tell me what liberty they're sacrificing.
    William.Farrel
    • Freedom of speech.

      freedom of association
      freedom of travel
      freedom from unwarranted search and seizure
      freedom from secret laws
      freedom from secret arrest
      right to a speedy and public trial
      right to face your accuser

      Evidently you skipped civics class in high school.
      jessepollard
      • I didn't know that

        They stopped your freedom of association? Who did they not let you hang out with?

        They stopped your freedom of travel? Where did they stop you from going?

        They stopped your freedom from unwarranted search and seizure? What did they take from you?

        They stopped your freedom from secret laws? Who says that's something you ever had or were granted, but then again, no such thing as a secret law. That's like saying there's a secret clause in a contract you didn't know about but have to adhere to.

        They stopped your freedom from secret arrest? No such thing as a secret arrest, if you understand what an "arrest" is.

        They stopped your right to a speedy and public trial? No such thing as a secret trial. As for speedy, they don't do that in public, either.

        They stopped your right to face your accuser? That happens in the secret trial, remember?

        Nice thing about claiming all this "secret" stuff -you don't have to prove your side of the argument, claiming "well duh - it's all secret, that's why you don't hear about it".

        Evidently I didn't skip civics class in high school, but I'm wondering if you did.
        William.Farrel
        • re: I didn't know that

          > They stopped your freedom of association?

          It's called "chilling effect" and it's been used by the SCOTUS to strike down laws that don't directly prohibit the exercise of a right (like freedom of association) but do discourage people from exercising it for fear of legal repercussions.

          If you know for a fact the government is monitoring your associations, you're going to think about that before you make any new ones you have a perfectly legal right to make but which the government may not like.

          And BTW, you are correct there are no secret laws, per se. However the DoJ's interpretations of some laws are, in fact, secret and classified. So the effect is the same as secret laws.
          none none
        • They stopped freedom of travel with "watch lists"

          And once you are on one, you can't get off.
          jessepollard
        • They stopped your freedom from unwarranted search and seizure

          when you can no longer travel with laptops.

          They can seize them at any time - train, bus, plane...

          And sometimes you never get them back.
          jessepollard
          • That's weird...

            "They stopped your freedom from unwarranted search and seizure when you can no longer travel with laptops."
            -------------------------------

            That's weird... I travel with a laptop all the time.
            Hallowed are the Ori
          • Keep sucking down the coolAid until the gestapo knocks on your door.

            Are you awake or in a coma from watching to much faux fantasy?
            Reality Bites
        • No such thing as a secret trial...

          All they do is claim "national security", and there are no public views. No public review, no access to the evidence, and essentially, no representation other than what is provided for you.
          jessepollard
          • In Federal Court...

            there are even things called "sealed evidence" wherein the Judge is to rule on without even seeing it.
            SmartAceW0LF
        • They stopped your right to face your accuser?

          "That happens in the secret trial, remember?"

          No, it doesn't - at least according to the reports from the few people that managed to get out.

          Secret trial remember? - you aren't allowed to see the evidence, remember? And you certainly can't have your council interview the accuser (classified remember?).
          jessepollard
          • another one from your Federal Courts...

            you no longer have the right to face your accuser if that individual's identity needs to remain a secret pending further investigations. And all of this has nothing to do with national security whatsoever. These are the standard fare we all live under in the Federal Jurisdiction. Oh, there's plenty more the better portion of citizens of this country are clueless about in that realm.
            SmartAceW0LF
        • "Evidently I didn't skip civics class in high school"

          You must have slept through it then, as you didn't learn anything.
          jessepollard
        • lol microsoft troll doesn't give up...

          ...of course.
          he got instructions to bark.
          veryevilempire
        • You don't understand do you? Perhaps when you mature you'll get it.

          It would take much too long to break the story down to simple enough terms that you could grasp it.

          Try getting out a little more.
          Reality Bites
    • oh look, microsoft troll is algo government troll...

      ...its no wander since microsoft is in bed with government since at least 1990-is.

      it's not called "evil empire" for nothing.
      veryevilempire