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Iran Press TV

NSA internal report shows widespread privacy violations

Iran Press TV

Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:4PM GMT

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has released a report documenting unlawful surveillance activities for more than a decade, including violating the privacy rights of US citizens.

The heavily redacted NSA report, released on Christmas Eve, was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Covering NSA activities from 2001 to 2013, the documents are required by executive order to be submitted quarterly and annually to the president's Intelligence Oversight Board.

According to the documents, NSA employees have e-mailed the data of Americans to unauthorized recipients, stored them in unsecured computers and retained the data after they were supposed to be destroyed.

The documents show "how the NSA has misused the information it collects over the past decade,' said Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the ACLU's National Security Project. 'They show an urgent need for greater oversight by all three branches of government.'

On Friday, the ACLU accused the NSA of using the Christmas holiday as a cover to "minimize the impact" of the damning report.

While the report sheds more light on previously disclosed abuses, such as unauthorized spying on spouses, other cases were a matter of human error, not intentional misconduct.

However, some sections of the documents are so heavily redacted that they provide no insight into the scope and seriousness of misconduct by the US spy agency.

The NSA has come under intense pressure since last year's revelations about the agency's widespread surveillance activities by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden's disclosures of NSA spying programs inside the US and around the world led to a global uproar. His release of NSA files has been called the most significant leak in US history.


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