NSA: Agency tested tracking US cellphone locations

Updated at: 10/02/2013 1:05 PM
By KIMBERLY DOZIER

(AP) WASHINGTON - National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander is telling Congress that his agency once tested whether it could track Americans’ cellphone locations, but he says the NSA does not use that capability.

Alexander says the agency conducted tests in 2010 and 2011 to see if it could handle the data, and then reported the tests to both House and Senate intelligence committees. He says the data gathered was never used for intelligence analysis.

Alexander says the NSA would have to seek approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before conducting such surveillance, and that instead the agency passes suspect foreign phone numbers to the FBI.

The FBI has to then build its own case to track the cellphone locations.

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