NPR : News

NSA Has Broken Privacy Rules 'Thousands Of Times Each Year'

The morning's major scoop comes from The Washington Post:

"The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents."

According to the Post, "most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls."

It adds that the audit and other documents come from "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden and "include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance."

An NSA official tells the Post that it tries to flag such problems "at the earliest possible moment, [and] implement mitigation measures wherever possible, and drive the numbers down. ... We're a human-run agency operating in a complex environment with a number of different regulatory regimes, so at times we find ourselves on the wrong side of the line."

The New York Times followed up the Post report and leads its story with this:

"The National Security Agency violated privacy rules protecting the communications of Americans and others on domestic soil 2,776 times over a one-year period, according to an internal audit leaked by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden and made public on Thursday night."

Politico says that:

"The details in the report are the clearest window yet into the extent to which surveillance programs overstep laws and other rules. Last year, the intelligence community declassified the fact that the FISA Court found that surveillance programs violated the Fourth Amendment at least one time, but little else has been divulged about the NSA's compliance records."

NPR has not obtained or seen the documents.

Last week, the Times reported that the NSA has been "searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

With 'Formation,' Beyoncé Lights Up The Internet. Here's What People Are Saying

The singer's new music video quickly drew commentary of all kinds — on its references to being black in America, Hurricane Katrina and Black Lives Matter.
NPR

Calif. Restaurant Gives Diners — And Sea Lions — An Ocean View

The Marine Room is a restaurant right on the beach. When the tide is high, waves hit the windows, and bring in unexpected visitors.
NPR

Why A Vote For Bush Could Be A Vote For Trump In The N.H. Primary

A quirk in the state's delegate process would award every vote under 10 percent to the winner of the primary. With the fractured establishment field, that could mean their votes go to Donald Trump.
WAMU 88.5

Call To Get All Maryland Students Internet Access Renewed This Year

Should all students in Maryland schools have access to the Internet and other digital resources? One Maryland Senator is taking up the call again this legislative session.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.