Skip to main content

This site works best in IE9 and up and in other modern web browsers

NSA Spied On Innocent Americans Unchecked For Five Years

Another day, another Obama-era spying scandal. This one again involves the FBI and the NSA acquiring and using information that was obtained via less-than-legal means. The ordeal raises the question of who holds these people accountable. A secret federal court issued a strong rebuke of the practices. The judge accused the secretive agencies of serious constitutional violations.

More via Miami Herald

The document, signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, said the court had learned in a notice filed Oct. 26, 2016, that National Security Agency analysts had been conducting prohibited queries of databases “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the court.”

 It said a judge chastised the NSA’s inspector general and Office of Compliance for Operations for an “institutional ‘lack of candor’ ” for failing to inform the court. It described the matter as “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”
Beyond that, the FBI willfully gave raw data to unauthorized contractors:

The court document also criticized the FBI’s distribution of intelligence data, saying it had disclosed raw surveillance data to sectors of its bureaucracy “largely staffed by private contractors.”

The “contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI’s requests,” it said, adding that the bureau discontinued the practice on April 18, 2016.

If you believe that this practice was really “discontinued” then I have some Montana oceanfront property that I think you’d be the perfect buyer for.

What the FBI and NSA Did

The FBI also broke federal law by gathering intelligence on an American citizen without a warrant.
Via Circa.
But the IG said it reviewed the same data and easily found evidence that the FBI accessed NSA data gathered on a person who likely was in the United States, making it illegal to review without a warrant.
The FBI’s and NSA’s excuses are not reassuring.
Almost all are unintentional human errors by good-intentioned agents and analysts under enormous pressure to stop the next major terror attack, the officials said.
“I was trying to do the right thing” is not a good excuse. In the real world, a mistake is a mistake and something this egregious is fireable.
The media is not interested in covering this. They don’t care that it happened rampantly under the Obama administration. They would never do anything to critique their dear leader. This also shows that James Comey was running a pirate operation at the FBI.  He was openly allowing his agents to break the law.
The reauthorization of the provisions that allow this snooping happens later this year. Lawmakers will have to decide who they stand with.
Does our intelligence community need reform? Share your thoughts in the comments below.