Are you worried about your data being spied upon? Fret not, there is now a way for you to check if your personal data is being surveilled by the NSA.
The US agency, considered to be one of to the world's top intelligence agencies, reportedly has several covert listening posts stationed across America and the world. Thanks to the an interactive mapping tool named the Internet Exchange Mapping (IXmaps), you can check if your data is being routed through any areas that may potentially play host to one of NSA's spy hubs.
IXMaps was recently re-launched for public use. The platform maps out the geographical path or traceroutes taken by users' data when bouncing between internet exchanges. In other words, your data moves from your device and across various routers, before reaching its destination.
Most routers that your data passes through belong to different carriers, which in turn are housed in internet exchanges. It is this traceroute that the IXmaps traces, in efforts to help you uncover "how far your data travels before arriving at its destination, and who gets to access it along the way."
The NSA has allegedly installed listening posts on some of the buildings that play host to internet exchanges, indicating that the agency can likely easily eavesdrop on your data, in the event that it passes through certain locations.
According to IXmaps founder, professor Andrew Clement of the University of Toronto, the platform's aim is to "make visible the secret, dangerous, often illegal forms of surveillance that are increasingly becoming part of everyday life," Motherboard reported.
Clement also pointed out that the NSA can listen to nearly all American data and that their spy hubs likely don't discriminate about data based on nationality. This means that whether a stream of data comes from Canada or the US, if it flows to and/or from the American continent, it is still allegedly up for grabs for the NSA.
"Once outside Canada, your data is treated by the NSA as foreign and loses Canadian legal and constitutional protections," the IXmaps website explains. "This represents a major loss of privacy."
The map currently charts 18 cities in the US, where "reported and suspected" NSA spy hubs are believed to be located. According to the IXmaps website, "Locating interception facilities in as few as 18 cities is sufficient to capture nearly 100% of internet communications originating within or passing through the U.S."