Thursday, September 22, 2005

NSA patents net location-tracking method

On Tuesday, the National Security Agency secured patent #6,947,978 for a method of identifying an internet user's physical location based on IP address. It works by triangulating the target in relation to known IP addresses--comparing the delay between the target's transmission and its passage through known geographic anchors. Sounds simple, huh?

Geo-location is not news, of course. Ever been custom-marketed to by websites? ("Find other singles in Philadelphia!" is one common experience.) Gary Jackson, VP of a firm (Quova) that holds 3 geolocation patents, says "It's honestly not clear that there's anything special or technically advanced about what they're describing.

In this article on CNet News, Declan McCullagh suspects that NSA patent could be part of their signals intelligence mission--devoted to spying on non-citizens.


Post a Comment

<< Home