Leaked Documents Expose The NSA’s Secret Search Engine ICREACH

Aug 28, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 10.37.52 AMI doubt any of us will ever have access to ICREACH but it’s fun (and a little scary) to imagine. Documents given to The Intercept by Edward Snowden are shedding new light on the amount of data the government has been tracking and how easily accessible it is to thousands of government employees. The data has been organized into a “Google-like” search engine called ICREACH. It’s estimated that there are a total of at least 850 billion records that can be searched in the top secret search engine. A few interesting excerpts from the report on The Intercept:

“ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work, according to a 2010 memo. A planning document from 2007 lists the DEA, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency as core members. Information shared through ICREACH can be used to track people’s movements, map out their networks of associates, help predict future actions, and potentially reveal religious affiliations or political beliefs.”

“A top-secret PowerPoint presentation from May 2007 illustrated how ICREACH would work—revealing its “Google-like” search interface and showing how the NSA planned to link it to the DEA, DIA, CIA, and the FBI. Each agency would access and input data through a secret data “broker”—a sort of digital letterbox—linked to the central NSA system. ICREACH, according to the presentation, would also receive metadata from the Five Eyes allies.”

Read more analysis here and here.