The National Security Agency of the United States (NSA) had violated the laws governing people’s privacy and exceeded its legal authority in more than 2,000 occasions since Congress granted the agency a wide range of powers in 2008. These revelations are contained in several secret documents provided by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, to The Guardian newspaper.
Most offenses revolve around the warrantless spying of U.S. citizens or foreign targets in order to collect intelligence inside the country, as reported by the U.S. newspaper The Washington Post. In this regard, the documents show that some of the violations include the interception of emails and phone calls that were swept by the spying system while executing searches on supposed terrorism suspects.
The documents include a level of detail and analysis that was not shared by the National Security Agency when its representatives appeared before the US Congress or the special court that oversees the work of the US spying grid.
The Obama administration has given virtually no information on the registration of recordings of the NSA. The audit obtained in May 2012 by the newspaper includes up to 2,776 incidents in the previous twelve months, while The Washington Post noted that “most were unintentional.”
Most serious incidents include unauthorized access to intercepted communications, distribution of protected content and the use of automatic systems without the necessary safeguards to prevent illegal spying.
The NSA has reacted quickly to the publication of such information and has argued that it “worked to identify problems as early as possible and to implement mitigation measures in cases where it was possible.”
“We are an agency that works with human beings in a complex environment with several regimes of regulation, so sometimes we are on the wrong side of the line,” said a senior official of the NSA in an interview with the newspaper.
“The data can be regarded as a percentage of our total business. If you look at the absolute number it seems large, but if you look at it as it relates to the total number of instances it is somewhat different,” the agency claims.
This revelation is yet another piece of evidence that the NSA is, regardless of what Barack Obama or Keith Alexander say, openly spying on everyone; inside the US and abroad. The documents once again confirm that the US president lied when he said that no one is collecting massive amounts of data from people’s communications, when that is exactly what has been happening.
During an interview with former congressman Ron Paul, Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first publish information about the NSA massive spying program said to Mr. Paul that more and more scandalous details are yet to come about the spying program used by the United States to spy on friends and foes.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute. Read more about Luis.