With 328.2 million people in the US population, I would imagine these government agencies wouldn't actually be dedicating their limited resources to spying on the typical American. Rather, they would only spy on persons of particular interest, such as Americans having been in contact with known criminals.

This would subsequently translate into drastically low odds.

  • 1
    There is no known answer, the security agencies don't routinely release this sort of information.
    – James K
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 22:02
  • @JamesK: Estimates are fine, if possible.
    – moonman239
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 22:05
  • 4
    What exactly does "listened" mean? It's highly likely that many steps nowadays such as recording and transcription are automated, and the results of that (along with other intelligence) determines who is targeted for review by human analysts. That is, great deal more will be getting captured, than is routinely analysed by any human eyes or ears.
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 22:13
  • See politics.stackexchange.com/q/14429/1370 Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


You must assume since Snowden that the metadata of every electronic communication is collected and stored indefinitely by a government agency. You can also assume that the content is collected and stored and that encrypted communications are equally collected and stored.

  • 1
    And if it isn't captured by your government, and allied government might do it and hand the results over. That weakens oversight.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 4:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .