Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


NSA broke privacy rules many times - Report

16 August 2013, 10:35

Washington - The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, The Washington Post reports.

Most of the infractions involve unauthorised surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by law and executive order.

They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of US emails and telephone calls, the Post reported on Thursday, citing an internal audit and other top-secret documents provided it earlier this summer from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, a former systems analyst with the agency.

In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Post cited a 2008 example of the interception of a "large number" of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused US area code 202 for 20, the international dialling code for Egypt, according to a "quality assurance" review that was not distributed to the NSA's oversight staff.

Unauthorised use

In another case, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has authority over some NSA operations, did not learn about a new collection method until it had been in operation for many months. The court ruled it unconstitutional.

The NSA audit obtained by the Post dated May 2012, counted 2 776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorised collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Most were unintended. Many involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure.

The most serious incidents included a violation of a court order and unauthorised use of data about more than 3 000 Americans and green-card holders.

In an emailed statement to The Associated Press late on Thursday, John DeLong, NSA's director of compliance, said, "We want people to report if they have made a mistake or even if they believe that an NSA activity is not consistent with the rules.

NSA, like other regulated organisations, also has a 'hotline' for people to report - and no adverse action or reprisal can be taken for the simple act of reporting. We take each report seriously, investigate the matter, address the issue, constantly look for trends and address them as well - all as a part of NSA's internal oversight and compliance efforts.

What's more, we keep our overseers informed through both immediate reporting and periodic reporting."

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...