A newly leaked report has spurred yet again another round of backlash against the NSA, one that Americans may never forget. According to a Washington Post report, the NSA collected information illegally on over 3,000 American citizens back in 2012, though it is not certain what the agency did with the data it harvested.
It is understood the NSA retained recorded telephone data of the 3,000 citizens despite being ordered to delete them. The reason behind this is unknown, but one thing is for certain, if the names of the victims should ever leak to the public, the American government and NSA could come under a lot of pressure.
To give you an idea how extreme these actions were, the report claims the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the NSA, had no idea the agency was collecting these telephone records until months after the operation had gone live. When they found out, FISC deemed the actions unconstitutional, and told the NSA to cease and desist the collection of these telephone records. You know it is a big no-no if even the secret court that has given the NSA a pass on most of its actions says it is wrong.
Furthermore, the report also claim the NSA broke its own privacy rules nearly 2,776 times; 195 of these violations took place in 2012 alone. We should note that many of these violations are caused by system failures and other software related errors (while others were humor errors), but at the end of the day, the NSA still “accidentally” recorded data on some American citizens for reasons unknown at this time.
“The number of ‘compliance incidents’ is jaw-dropping. The rules around government surveillance are so permissive that it is difficult to comprehend how the intelligence community could have managed to violate them so often,” said ACLU deputy legal director, Jameel Jaffer. “Obviously it’s important to know what precisely these compliance incidents involved, and some are more troubling than others. But at least some of these incidents seem to have implicated the privacy of thousands or millions of innocent people.”
We’re not sure what will come of this NSA spy program, however; we are compelled to believe nothing will change for the better since American citizens appear to have taken these reports of spying quite humbly.
Now, don’t even bother asking how NSA treats non-American citizens — because it ain’t pretty.
[via Washington Post]