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The National Security Agency intercepted Americans' e-mails and phone calls in recent months on a scale that went beyond limits set by Congress last year, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The problems were discovered during a review of the intelligence activities, the Justice Department said in a statement Wednesday night, and said they had been resolved.
Citing unnamed intelligence officials, the Times said the NSA had engaged in "'over-collection' of domestic communications.
Originally posted by andy1033
I get why they are doing it to americans, but why are they doing it overseas, against people who have nothing to do with your country, and thats putting it mild.
I have a perspective on NSA that may be a bit different.
First of all, targeting for foreign intelligence collection is not 'random', but those who engage in it may not have anything to do with the reason it is collected or sought.
When the actual humans get involved, they will identify those signals they shouldn't be listening to. Many years ago, the collection would immediately be stopped and the data destroyed. Furthermore, measures were taken to ensure that that source of information was never targeted again.
That was over 20 years ago. Now it seems they collect it all and deal with the problems after someone outside the actual collection makes the determination as to whether this was desired information and what to do with it.
NSA has no limits 'set by Congress' - that is an oversimplification at best, or a misrepresentation at worst. Congress may set guidelines and principles for the activities of the NSA but they cannot do more than that.
I will however add one off topic point:
Remember all those missing, lost, or misplaced White House emails? NSA has them ALL - 100% guaranteed, I'll put hard cash on that bet! The problem is they will NEVER admit they 'intercepted' them. However - their accidental netting of all e-data and signals intelligence doesn't leave room for doubt.
Can anyone say 'subpoena'?