Declassified files detail blatant violations, abuse of #NSA domestic spying program

from For years the National Security Agency has been violating
restrictions and misusing the US domestic spying program that collected
private data from US citizens, newly released declassified documents

The new information from Intelligence Community Documents
Regarding Collection under Section 501 of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) shows that the government on
a daily basis spied on Americans’ telephone numbers, calling
patterns as well as users IP addresses during the surveillance of
foreign terror suspects.  

The information shows that between 2006 and 2009 the NSA violated
the court restrictions by spying on telephone calls and lying to
judges about how the data was deployed. The spying agency crossed
referenced a selected list of some 16,000 phone numbers against
databases which contained millions of records, thus violating the
law, two senior intelligence officials told Bloomberg. 

The metadata program which started in 2006 enabled the NSA to
gather more information about a specific number that the agency
claimed could be linked to terrorist activity. The agency also
kept an alert list that was cross-referenced with new numbers to
consider whether they should be added to a list of “reasonable
articulable suspicion.” 

The NSA gathered the bulk phone records under Section 215 of the
USA Patriot Act, which requires private companies to turn over
evidence that is relevant to a terrorism investigation. However,
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled that the NSA
must have “reasonable, articulable suspicion” to run that
number against a larger database. Only about 2,000 numbers on the
list in 2009 met that legal condition, according to sources. 

The released documents according to Director of National
Intelligence James Clapper relate to “compliance incidents
that were discovered by the NSA, reported to the FISC and the
Congress, and resolved four years ago.”


The documents were released as part of a lawsuit filed by the
Electronic Frontier Foundation and under growing pressure for the
administration to shed light on its surveillance activities
following Edward Snowden’s leaks.

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