By Thomas Gaist
The US National Security Agency (NSA) published a cache of “transparency” reports on its web page Wednesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The internally generated NSA reports, covering the years 2001-2013 and previously submitted to the Presidential Intelligence Oversight Board, show that NSA agents have consistently violated US law and the agency’s own internal regulations over the past decade.
The timing of the release, on Christmas Eve, was clearly designed to ensure that the event could be buried by the US media.
The reports show that NSA agents have carried out a range of illegal activities, including electronic spying on US persons (USP), stockpiling data that the agency is required by law to delete, continuing surveillance against targets after they have been found to be USP, and “disseminating” data acquired from surveillance against USP to other government agencies and entities.
Agents specifically targeted individuals not covered by any existing order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and used electronic surveillance technology to spy on significant others, spouses, and other associates.
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