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Iran Press TV

New leak: NSA gets away with domestic spying

Iran Press TV

Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:46PM GMT

A newly disclosed US National Security Agency document shows the US spy agency is legally authorized to search for Americans' email and phone calls without a warrant.

On Friday, the Guardian reported that a top-secret document provided by former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that a legal authority enables NSA operatives to sieve through US citizens' communications using their names or other identifying information.

Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) authorizes the NSA to gather intelligence without warrant on the communications of foreign targets stipulated that they are non-US citizens and outside the US at time of data collection.

NSA agents can also collect the communications of US citizens in direct contact with foreign targets without a warrant. Moreover, through a process termed "incidental collection,' domestic communications on US soil can also be recorded into the spy agency's databases.

The newly disclosed document reveals for the first time that the NSA is legally authorized to sieve through those databases in search for specific American individuals' communications.

"While the FAA 702 minimization procedures approved on 3 October 2011 now allow for use of certain United States person names and identifiers as query terms when reviewing collected FAA 702 data," the Guardian quoted from the leaked document, "analysts may NOT/NOT [not repeat not] implement any USP [US persons] queries until an effective oversight process has been developed by NSA and agreed to by DOJ/ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence].

The Guardian explained that the term "identifier" may refer to an individual's name, telephone number, email address, or IP address and username.

The new revelation about the US government's massive spying programs comes a few days after President Obama denied on a television show that the White House has "a domestic spying program"

On NBC's Tonight Show on Tuesday, Obama described the NSA's spying programs as "useful" mechanisms that "can track a phone number or an e-mail address that is connected to a terrorist attack."

In a phone interview with Press TV, Danny Schechter, editor of, said Obama denies that the US government is spying on Americans because he "doesn't call it spying, he calls it mining information."


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