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NSA violated privacy protections from 2006 to 2009, pins blame on confusion

Alexis Santos
09.10.13
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By now, it's no secret that the NSA has courted privacy violations, but new documents divulge just how long such incidents have occurred. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released approximately 1,800 pages of declassified files, which reveal that the NSA's phone record program violations happened between 2006 (when it first came under court supervision) and 2009, when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered changes to the operation. During that period, a total of 17,835 phone numbers were listed for checking against Uncle Sam's database, and only about 1,800 were based on the standard of reasonable suspicion. According to Clapper, congress received the papers we're seeing now at the time of the incidents, and corrective measures have been put in place. Among the preventative actions are a complete "end-to-end" review of telephony metadata handling, the creation of the Director of Compliance position and a fourfold increase of the compliance department's personnel.

As it turns out, the missteps are (again) said to have been accidents. "There was nobody at the NSA who had a full understanding of how the program worked," an intelligence official claims. Sure, the increased transparency is certainly welcome, but a recently-leaked NSA audit from May of 2012 suggests that collection of protected data is still occurring from a combination of human error and technical limits. To pore through the National Security Agency's fresh load of documents, hit the second source link below.

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