The NSA Revelations All in One Chart by ProPublica

This is a plot of the NSA programs revealed in the past year according to whether they are bulk or targeted, and whether the targets of surveillance are foreign or domestic. Most of the programs fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, but some – particularly those that are both domestic and broad-sweeping – are more controversial.

Just as with the New York Magazine approval matrix that served as our inspiration, the placement of each program is based on judgments and is approximate.

For more details, read our FAQ or listen to our podcast. Also, take our quiz to test your NSA knowledge.

NSA Revelations

Source: ACLU, ProPublica Research

VictoryDanceThe NSA tested a technique for using drones to map “the Wi-Fi fingerprint of nearly every major town in Yemen.” NSA??
Hammerchant / HammersteinNSA programs to spy on data sent through voice over IP calls and Virtual Private Networks. NSA??
ANT catalogVarious techniques – with names like IronChef and DropoutJeep – used to inject surveillance software into Apple, Cisco, Dell and other products. NSA??
Cracking cellphone encryptionThe NSA has the capability to defeat a widely-used cellphone encryption technology. NSA??
Optic NerveA British program to bulk collect images from Yahoo webcam chats: “It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.” NSA??
Swedish-American surveillance of RussiaA Swedish-American effort to spy on Russian leadership. NSA??
GilgameshAn NSA program to geolocate people’s SIM cards via Predator drones. NSA??
Buddy List, Address Book SpyingAn NSA effort to collect hundreds of millions of contact lists from email and instant messaging accounts. NSA??
Hacking AnonymousA British spy unit to monitor hacktivists such as the group Anonymous. NSA??
Co-Traveler/ FASCIAThe NSA collected 5 billion records a day of cellphone locations worldwide. NSA??
Hacking OPECNSA and GCHQ programs to infiltrate the OPEC oil cartel NSA and GCHQ??
TracfinTracfin amasses gigabytes of data about credit card purchases. NSA??
WellspringAn NSA program to collect images from emails for facial recognition. NSA??
Honey TrapsA British spy effort to conduct covert Internet investigations, including sexual “honey-traps.” NSA??
Surveillance of 2009 U.N. Climate Change conferenceNSA surveillance of the 2009 U.N. Climate Change conference. NSA??
Spying on GamersThe NSA and GCHQ monitored games including World of Warcraft. NSA and GCHQ??
Targeting EmbassiesAn NSA operation targeting the Italian embassy in Washington D.C. NSA??
DishfireAn NSA program to collect up to 200 million text messages a day worldwide. NSA??
QuantumTheoryNSA programs that inject spyware onto targets’ computers through so-called “man on the side” attacks. Variants include QuantumInsert, QuantumBiscuit, and QuantumSmackdown. NSA??
MuscularThe NSA and GCHQ have jointly operated a program to intercept data from Yahoo and Google networks. NSA and GCHQ??
PrismThe Prism program collects data from the servers of U.S. technology companies. NSA??
Hacking Angela MerkelThe NSA targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. NSA??
Hacking Al JazeeraNSA hacked into Al Jazeera’s internal communications system. NSA??
Cellphone Location TestIn 2010 and 2011, the NSA tested bulk collection of location data from Americans cellphones. NSA??
Tapping Underseas CablesCompanies – including BT, Vodafone, and Verizon Business – gave GCHQ access to their underseas cables. NSA??
Angry BirdsNSA and GCHQ efforts to intercept information transmitted by phone apps, including Angry Birds. NSA and GCHQ??
Royal ConciergeA GCHQ program to monitor hotel reservations for “governmental hard targets.” NSA??
SecondDateA so-called man-in-the-middle attack for “mass exploitation” of traffic “passing through network choke points” as well as “surgical target selection.” NSA??
NoseySmurf, TrackerSmurf, DreamySmurf, ParanoidSmurfThe Smurf programs get inside iPhones and Android devices, turning on microphones, tracking location, and managing power. NSA??
Internet MetadataA program, ended in 2011, to sweep up domestic Internet metadata such as the To and From fields in emails. NSA??
EgotisticalGoat and EgotisticalGiraffeThe Egotistical animal programs are techniques to track users of Tor anonymizing software. NSA??
Program to Discredit MilitantsAn NSA effort to spy on targets’ online sexual activity. NSA??
LinkedIn HackEngineers at a Belgian telcom were infected with malware, via a technique called QuantumInsert, when they pulled up their LinkedIn profiles. NSA??
BullrunJoint NSA and GCHQ effort to undermine and weaken cryptography standards and tools. NSA and GCHQ???
ShotgiantAn NSA program to break into Chinese-owned Huawei networks and products. NSA??
WillowVixenAn NSA technique to deploy malware by sending out emails that trick targets into clicking a malicious link. NSA??
TurmoilA large network of clandestine surveillance “sensors” to collect data from satellites, cables, and microwave communications around the world. NSA??
TurbineA network of active command and control servers around the world that can be used for “industrial scale exploitation.” NSA??
Squeaky DolphinA British effort to monitor YouTube video views, URLS “liked” on Facebook and Blogger visits. NSA??
UpstreamThe Upstream program collects communications transiting the Internet via commercial partners codenamed Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, and Oakstar. NSA???
Phone MetadataThe well-known and controversial program to collect of phone call records – aka metadata – of nearly all Americans. NSA?
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