Here’s how the NSA analyzes all that call data


The National Security Agency might not have the names of Verizon’s (s vz) wireless customers, but the agency probably can figure out what they’re up to if it’s so inclined. The metadata Verizon has provided the NSA — phone numbers, numbers called, duration of calls, location — is a veritable treasure trove to an organization with the right analytic skills and the right tools. The NSA has both.

There are numerous methods the NSA could use to extract some insights from what must be a mind-blowing number of phone calls and text messages, but graph analysis is likely the king. As we’ve explained numerous times over the past few months, graph analysis is ideal for identifying connections among pieces of data. It’s what powers social graphs, product recommendations and even some fairly complex medical research.

But now it has really come to the fore as a tool for fighting…

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