Friday, August 16, 2013

The NSA Violated OUR Privacy Thousands of Times Last Year

Don't take my word for it, ask the Washington Post, hardly a right-wing news organization:

The National Security Agency has overstepped its authority and broken privacy rules thousands of times every year since being given new surveillance powers by Congress in 2008, The Washington Post reported, citing an internal audit and other secret documents.

The documents, which the Post claims it received earlier this summer from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, detail how the controversial agency has crossed the line many times over in its collection of massive amounts of data from around the world.
Despite repeated claims by officials that the NSA does not spy on Americans, the Post reports that the bulk of the infractions involved improper surveillance of Americans or foreign targets in the U.S. Some of the infractions were inadvertent, caused by typographical errors resulting in U.S. calls or emails being intercepted. Others were more serious.

The Post reported that the most significant violations included the unauthorized use of information on more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders. In another incident, the Post reported that a “large number” of calls from Washington were intercepted in 2008 after the Washington area code 202 was confused with the code 20, which is the code for dialing to Egypt.

Perhaps the scariest part about this is that these were allegedly mistakes. You would think that these folks would exercise more caution when they are holding billions and billions of personal phone, email and Internet transactions in the palm of their collective hands. It all gets back to this one fact: There is NO reason why the NSA needs to be collecting data on EVERY phone call, email and Internet visit we make.

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