NSA spying: Rules broken 'thousands of times,' more

The newest revelations to come from the U.S. spying saga: Citing documents leaked by former government tech contractor Edward Snowden, the Washington Post reports that an internal NSA audit found that the agency had broken privacy rules thousands of times a year since 2008.

The violations include unauthorized spying on targets both American and foreign, as well as typos that led to interceptions of emails and phone calls, the Post says. In one case, a new way of collecting information went on for months before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court found out about it and ruled it unconstitutional.

The drumbeat for reining in the powers of the National Security Agency is getting louder.

“The three pillars of American trust [executive, judicial, Congress] have fallen,” says the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “With each new revelation the government comes out with a new story for why things are really just fine, only to have that assertion demolished by the next revelation.” Some are calling for a special prosecutor.

Meanwhile, Snowden was collecting documents about the NSA’s Prism program while he worked for Dell — a year earlier than previously thought, according to Reuters. He then got a job at Booz Allen Hamilton, another government contractor, to try to gain more access, he has said.

 

 Photo: An aerial view of the cooling units at the NSA’s new data center in Bluffdale, Utah. (Associated Press)

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (4041 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).