Using a program named XKeyscore, an NSA analyst can simply type in an email address or IP address of a “target” and access their emails, search history, visited websites, and even Facebook chats. The program’s leaked slides boast that XKeyscore’s ability to analyze HTTP data allows it to see “nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet.”
The map above shows that in March 2013 alone, the NSA collected over 73 billion metadata records worldwide. Despite the NSA’s assurance that it does not intentionally collect data on Americans, nearly 3 billion pieces of metadata were collected from the United States alone.
If you want to see what your own metadata looks like, engineers at the MIT media lab developed a program called Immersion that analyzes your email metadata to create a cluster chart of your social connections.