The National Security Agency’s violations are starting to make Edward Snowden seem like a true whistleblower and not as a leaker. The Washington Post posted a copy of the NSA’s report on privacy violations in the first quarter of 2012 and it is huge. I don’t understand why heads didn’t roll over Edward Snowden leaked thousands of pages of documents to the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald. Kinda makes President Obama look stupid saying there are safeguards in place to prevent such violations.
To make a bad situation worse, Reggie B. Walton, the chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) said the court “lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy.” What? Didn’t President Obama say there are safeguards in place to prevent this mess?
Walton’s statement comes as the Washington Post obtained documents concerning an internal NSA audit identified 2,776 incidents or violations of FISA rules for the surveillance of Americans or foreign targets in the U.S. The question I keep asking is why no-one has been fired at the National Security Agency yet?
Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.
The NSA audit obtained by The Post, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Most were unintended. Many involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure. The most serious incidents included a violation of a court order and unauthorized use of data about more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders.
In a statement in response to questions for this article, the NSA said it attempts to identify problems “at the earliest possible moment, implement mitigation measures wherever possible, and drive the numbers down.” The government was made aware of The Post’s intention to publish the documents that accompany this article online.
Some members of Congress are expressing concerns about this latest revelation. I wonder if they will still call for Edward Snowden’s head on a platter?
Sen. Leahy on NSA disclosures: ‘Using advanced surveillance technologies in secret demands close oversight and appropriate checks and balances, and the American people deserve no less than that.’ – via@NBCNews
Rep. Pelosi on report of NSA privacy violations: ‘Current laws governing NSA’s collection activities contain safeguards to ensure the protection of privacy and civil liberties’ – via @NBCNews