How much Internet traffic is being actively intercepted and reviewed by the National Security Agency (NSA)?
According to newly released details from the NSA, of the estimated 1,826 petabytes of data that flow across the Internet daily, the agency in its foreign intelligence mission touches about 1.6% of that. That was the claim made in a seven-page PDF released Saturday on the NSA’s website, which was released to communicate in greater detail the scope and scale of NSA collection, as well as legal basis for that surveillance.
According to the document, the NSA studies only a fraction of the data it intercepts. Notably, of the 1.6% of Internet traffic the NSA touches daily, the agency actively reviews only 0.025%, or about 7,250 GB. “Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the global communications environment, NSA’s total collection would be represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball court,” the document states.