WASHINGTON (AP) -- The New York Times is reporting that for almost three years the National Security Agency has been tapping the data it collects to map out some Americans' social connections.
The newspaper reports that tracking those social connections allows the government to identify some Americans' associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information.
The Times cites documents provided by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.
In a story posted Saturday on its website, the Times reports that the NSA began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 after officials at the spy agency lifted restrictions on the practice. The paper says the purpose has been to examine some Americans' networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes.