It was the summer of 2010, and one of the biggest security breaches of all time was about to hit the web.
The government was looking to track down the owner of the website that was responsible for nearly half of all internet traffic for a whole host of reasons, including terrorism, espionage, and illicit activities.
The company, known as Cylance, had created a database of millions of US residents that had been created by the National Security Agency (NSA) using the code-named EternalBlue.
The NSA was able to access that database and, in some cases, the data that was stored there.
After the breach was exposed, the US government asked the NSA to take over the data collection effort.
The agency, unsurprisingly, declined.
In the months that followed, it began working on a new strategy for the NSA, but it wasn’t until June 2011 that it finally succeeded in gaining control of the data.
That was when the agency began secretly tapping into the servers of three major online service providers, Verizon, Google, and Facebook, and then accessing the communications of hundreds of millions more Americans, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The massive data dump came as a shock to US government officials, but many in the tech community were not prepared for what was coming.
The federal government has since admitted that it had illegally accessed data from these three major providers.
As Ars Technia reported, the NSA has now admitted that the bulk of the NSA’s internet monitoring and data collection efforts took place on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The NSA and DHS have admitted to a vast amount of data collection, according the Washington Post, which cited an “intelligence community document.”
In fact, the document notes that the NSA “has been collecting vast amounts of personal data from US citizens since at least 2013,” and that the collection has continued “since the inauguration of President Donald Trump.”
As Ars has reported, DHS is currently responsible for collecting the personal data of nearly 200 million people and collecting that data for a variety of reasons.
For instance, the agency collects this data for an array of national security purposes, such as protecting against terrorist threats.
The data is then passed to the intelligence community, which uses that data to target and potentially influence US citizens, the Washington Times noted.
DHS is responsible for running the National Terrorist Screening Center, a program that has collected information on over 500,000 Americans since the start of the Obama administration.
The program is also responsible for providing information to law enforcement, according a Department of Justice spokesperson.
And the data collected is used to target foreign fighters and potential terrorists.
This is a major step towards the expansion of the national security state.
In a statement to Ars, a DHS spokesperson said that “DHS is committed to keeping the United States secure, and is actively working to safeguard the privacy and civil liberties of Americans online.”
However, the statement also acknowledged that the information that was collected had been “used for a range of DHS functions,” and it acknowledged that “the agency does not store or maintain any information on its users.”
The agency also admitted that “dealing with data from private companies and others” is not part of its duties, but said that the government was “working to create a more streamlined process for the government to retain and share data.”
The statement continued: DHS is also working with the FBI to create an integrated data management system that allows agencies to share and share the information about individuals across agencies, such that it is shared with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, in addition to the FBI and other agencies.
The statement also noted that DHS was “committed to the creation of a national data system that is fully transparent, accountable, and secure.”
The DHS spokesperson added that the agency was “in the process of creating a transparent, publicly available, and trusted data management and analytics tool.”
But the agency has been pushing back against these efforts, saying that the data is “never collected, stored, or analyzed.”
It’s not clear what the government plans to do with the data, but some cybersecurity experts are calling for a new program.
“The government is using the information to target U.S. citizens who are in the country, and to target people in the U.K. or other parts of the world for attack,” Christopher Soghoian, a former National Security Council staff member and cybersecurity expert, told Ars.
“And it’s really, really bad for cybersecurity.”
As it stands, the government is not providing a complete picture of what the data could mean.
But it’s clear that the surveillance program is in violation of the First Amendment and the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
“It’s a pretty big deal that the intelligence agencies are now collecting all of this data and using it for their own purposes,” said David Auerbach, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in cybersecurity law and policy.
“So if the government has been collecting this data, why