27 June 2014


woodblock print (mokuhanga)
6" x 6" (152.4 x 152.4 mm)
3 layers of color plus blind emboss on Kochi Kozo paper
edition: 20

XKEYSCORE is a computer system used by the NSA to search and analyze internet data from many sources worldwide. The existence of the program was first revealed by Edward Snowden who, along with journalist Glenn Greenwald, presents XKeyscore as a system that enables almost unlimited surveillance of anyone anywhere in the world. Although other experts don't believe that the system is as robust as Greenwald and Snowden claim, according to a Greenwald article in The Guardian, XKeyscore is a sort of custom search engine that allows analysts to search through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals. The data can be sorted by typing in a name, email address, or IP address, or extracted through queries, such as "My target speaks German but is in Pakistan -- how can I find him?"

One of the limitations of XKeyscore is storage. The database only has the capacity to store the massive volume of the data it collects for a few days, so essentially the XKeyscore system is best used for "real time" tracking of targets. In that short time frame, however, it seems to provide a very accurate digital fingerprint of any designated target in the world.

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