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Cybersecurity

Interactive Graphic: The NSA Spying Machine

A guide to the NSA’s spying machine

With every new leak from Edward Snowden’s bottomless trove of pilfered documents, it gets harder to keep track of all the bizarre ways the National Security Agency has cooked up to spy on people and governments. This may help.

Data in Motion 
NSA’s spies divide targets into two broad categories: data in motion and data at rest. Information moving to and from mobile phones, computers, data centers, and satellites is often easier to grab, and the agency sucks up vast amounts worldwide. Yet common data such as e-mail is often protected with encryption once it leaves a device, making it harder—but not impossible—to crack.