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Is the NSA still SPYING on American citizens? New IG report warns of ‘increased RISK’ to civil liberties

(National SentinelUnconstitutional: It seems like forever when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden spilled the beans on outsized and illegal data collection of nearly all Americans‘ electronic communications in 2013.

Snowden’s revelations become one of the Obama administration’s many scandals and sent Congress into panic and cover-up mode as lawmakers scrambled to downplay the former contractor’s claims and do as much damage control as possible.

In the years since Congress and the NSA both have attempted to assure Americans that their data is safe and that no more unconstitutional vacuuming of all electronic communications was occurring.

Well, those assurances were likely bunk.

A new Intelligence Community Inspector General Report makes clear that the agency may very well be doing massive data collection again, or at least is positioning itself for that task.

Fifth Domain reports:

The National Security Agency is at an “increased risk” of jeopardizing civil liberties and the privacy of American citizens, according to an inspector general report that comes just months after a controversial program that collects emails and phone calls was extended.



The NSA watchdog said that agency analysts performed “noncompliant” searches using the organization’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Authority, which were caused by “human error, incomplete understanding of the rules, and gaps in guidance.”

According to the report, which covered the period from October 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018 the unauthorized searches were related to the FISA’s counterterrorism authority.

“This has been going on for some time,” said William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University. He said that noncompliance was a heated topic when the section 702 of the FISA act was reauthorized earlier this year. “A fair amount of it was apparently mechanical or machine-driven mistakes … you would expect it might take the better part of a year for improvement in implementation to show results.”

Previously, privacy groups have raised issue with the noncompliance searches of digital and electronic records.

While these violations are not willful — they are inadvertent or unintentional — they are extremely concerning,” wrote Robyn Greene, a policy counsel at New America, in the report that analyzed section 702 program violations. “These unintentional violations are a threat to Americans’ privacy, and their impact can be significant and prolonged.”

But are they really ‘inadvertent’? Or is the way NSA operators perform searches done in a manner that gives the agency plausible deniability?

We expect our intelligence community to do what it can to protect America and safeguard our country.

But we also expect the NSA to perform its function within the parameters of the law and the Constitution.

If they won’t do that, then people need to be held accountable.


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3 Comments on Is the NSA still SPYING on American citizens? New IG report warns of ‘increased RISK’ to civil liberties

  1. Whenever We the People find that the Federal government is abusing its power…we make a little noise…sadly REFUSE to hold anyone to account…and then act surprise when we find out that the problem was never solved! Insane.

    Same thing will happen when we let all of these crooked FBI/DOJ/Obama operatives off the hook. In a year we’ll all be SHOCKED to find out they’re STILL persecuting Conservatives…

  2. It never stopped, it always recorded anything what happens everywhere they can none-stop.
    It’s for example the Internet. They tap from the backbone of the Internet and there is no way to separate the traffic from US or foreign traffic in that stage. They collect it all and store the data, where it will be mined, categorized, profelized and analyzed.
    And don’t forget, the rest of the world with their versions of the NSA are doing it to, but without any restrictions.

  3. Yes, they do.
    How do I know that? Logic.
    One of the biggest data collection point (for NSA and all other foreign NSA type of organizations) is the so called Internet backbone.

    What’s the Internet backbone? Techopedia says: “An Internet backbone refers to one of the principal data routes between large, strategically interconnected networks and core routers on the Internet. … Internet backbones are the largest data connections on the Internet. They require high-speed bandwidth connections and high-performance servers/routers.”

    In normal English, it’s infrastructure. It’s a collection of multiple, redundant networks owned by numerous companies (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, QWest, Level 3, Verio and more). It is typically a fiber optic trunk line.

    And what can you find in the Internet backbone? Everything. Telephone conversations, data-, voice- and video streams, any internet traffic, etc. Any type of communications goes through those connections, whatever it is.

    And from where comes all that data from? From everywhere in the world. The chance that a telephone conversation in Russia to Saudi Arabia comes through the Internet backbone is more then extreme high.

    What dos it take to tap in the Internet backbone? Simple, hookup your connection to the fiber optic trunk line, which can be done in a remote location like a desert or a random building somewhere close to the fiber optic trunk line. Voila, you have connection and start collecting; nobody will notice.

    What does the NSA do with the captured data? It will analyze the data, categorize it and place it in profiles, which will be connected to other profiles, and each connection will get a certain ‘weight’ associated with it, which might trigger alarms or not.

    For example, you get born the 19th of July 2018. You’re not in the NSA database (yet). Then your father mentioned in a post that he loves the way how Arab food tastes in Egypt. Guess what? You are in the NSA database, because your father’s profile links directly to you. From that fact alone, the NSA places a heavier weight on you for the rest of your life.

    To answer the question if the NSA is spying on you? No. Not spying. Not at all, but much worse then that.

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