XKeyscore ( XKS ) is a spy software of the U.S. National Security Agency. The Brazilian newspaper O Globo and the Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald, published on July 8, 2013 for the first time information and details on the existence and functioning of the system. The reports are based on documents the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The service itself explains: XKeyscore is "a system for the utilization of Digital Network Intelligence / Analysis Structure ".

The publications on XKeyscore are part of the monitoring and espionage in 2013, under which the massive surveillance of the global communications through the United States and the United Kingdom were disclosed. By XKeyscore publications has become apparent in the context of the UKUSA agreement for the first time participation of Australia and New Zealand. Its members - the internationally oriented news services from the UK ( GCHQ ), United States (NSA ), Australia (DSD ), Canada ( CSEC ) and New Zealand ( GCSB ) - also known as "Five Eyes".


According to the documents XKeyscore is designed specifically for a single " target person " issue with the help of metadata and other data, for example keyword lists by search engines inputs. Also, chats and e- mails can be evaluated. Also to be buildable in real time a temporary, unfiltered collection of all at all due to that person data. Targets can be defined by the name, characteristics of the browser, phone numbers or Nickname well as by contact lists in instant messaging. An identification by IP address or by means of the language used is also possible, for example, " All queries in German ," a country of the axis of evil. Also requests such as " PGP encryption, or VPN connections in and out of Iraq " are mentioned as viable examples.

Internet data can only "short" connection data are stored for about 30 days. Data can be moved to other databases and stored longer.


According to the presentation from the 2008 XKeyscore then consisted of a composite of more than 700 servers that were distributed to 150 different locations. The system would be " linear scaling " - that is expandable by simply adding more servers.

The Sydney Morning Herald named four monitoring devices in Australia - the " U.S. Australian Joint Defence Facility " southwest of Alice Springs, and the three of the Australian intelligence agency Defence Signals Directorate ( DSD) operated plants " Shoal Bay Receiving Station " in Darwin, " Australian Defence Satellite Communications station " in Geraldton and ' HMAS Harman ' outside of Canberra. The fifth location in the oceanic space conditioning is " Waihopai station " at Blenheim, which is operated by the New Zealand Government Communications Security Intelligence Service Bureau ( GCSB ).

XKeyscore provides the ability to centrally search the data from three data sets, which are operated by the following organizations:

  • Special Collection Service ( SCS; "Special Collection Service"), a cooperation between NSA and CIA, which is maintained under the code - name " F6".
  • Foreign Satellite Collection ( FORNSAT; " monitoring foreign satellites" )
  • Special Source Operations (SSO; " operating unit for special sources "), a subsidiary organization of the NSA, which should be responsible for the collection of metadata that should they receive from the British intelligence agency GCHQ among others.

The SCS should already have been repeatedly described as a special unit, which will be responsible for monitoring, interception and hacking into foreign computer, but also for the bugging of foreign embassies, according to the time.


Published by the Guardian presentation refuted the previous assertion of U.S. government officials, Snowden's utterance " queries can be realized without a court order of FISC " is a lie. The user dialog shown for a specific monitoring activity provides a simple template to choose from, what purpose would be pursued. In order to circumvent the law, which is intended to prevent U.S. citizens may be the target of surveillance, it is enough to NSA analysts, for example, in initiating an e -mail monitoring, to select the menu item " ... no information indicates that the target person in the U.S. is ".

Already in 2007 were 850 billion call data and 150 billion unspecified " internet data " stored.

In the U.S., experts are used in dealing with XKeyscore among other companies, such as L- 3 Communications, Tasc or CyTech, the name proficiency with XKeyscore in the qualification profiles of vacancies in their job boards.

In Germany

From the coming month 500 million from Germany records that were incurred during the entire monitoring activities, came in December 2012 180 million entries of XKeyscore. The Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution ( BFV ) should also use XKeyscore. The President of the BFV Hans -Georg Maassen denied that his authority had possibility to access the databases. He confirmed that the BFV test the software. However, no data would be collected for further processing.

From exposed by Edward Snowden secret documents of NSA, which had the mirror can see, would indicate that a close cooperation with the German intelligence services exist. NSA employees should have recorded in January 2013 in the documents that the BND has worked, " the German government to influence so that they lax interprets data protection laws in the long run, to provide greater opportunities for the exchange of intelligence information. " In an early 2014 interview broadcast Edward Snowden reaffirmed Germany's access to XKeyscore.