NSA: It Would Violate Your Privacy To Say If We Spied On You

Spencer Ackerman writing for Wired:

The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won’t tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency as part of its sweeping new counterterrorism powers. The reason: it would violate your privacy to say so.

That claim comes in a short letter sent Monday to civil libertarian Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. The two members of the Senate’s intelligence oversight committee asked the NSA a simple question last month: under the broad powers granted in 2008′s expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, how many persons inside the United States have been spied upon by the NSA?

The query bounced around the intelligence bureaucracy until it reached I. Charles McCullough, the Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the nominal head of the 16 U.S. spy agencies. In a letter acquired by Danger Room, McCullough told the senators that the NSA inspector general “and NSA leadership agreed that an IG review of the sort suggested would itself violate the privacy of U.S. persons,” McCullough wrote…

Read more here.

  • TomJTaylor
  • Anarchy Pony

    Dafuq? Did I just wake up in some new dimension where insane shit is now normal?

    • Calypso_1

      It would violate your privacy to know what dimension you are being contained in.

      • Anarchy Pony

        But of course.

  • Howardjohnson

    16 agencies,  that’s too many goons to keep track of.  The response from the NSA: “The NSA, for instance, no longer requires probable cause to intercept a
    person’s phone calls, text messages or emails within the United States
    as long as one party to the communications is “reasonably” believed to
    be outside the United States.”  Translation: A faction within the NSA sets up an email account  via an overseas ‘affiliate’ then sends an email to their target.  Bam….he/she is a potential spy and put on the grill for as long as the NSA deems necessary.  Senators Wyden and Udall should probably start playing ball or the NSA will most likely make sure they die accidental deaths via a small plane crash, home invasion robberies etc… 

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    > NSA: It Would Violate Your Privacy To Say If We Spied On You
    which is why they call it
    The Land of the Free

    learn it, use it and learn to love Big Brother

    You have the right to remain silent!

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    As the Barnacle has said, people don’t mind being lied to, they only mind finding out they’ve been lied to

  • http://www.planetarybargains.com/Blog/ PBScott

    We have all been spied on by some collaborating agency or another by computer software. It has long been known that some words such as B0MB whether typed or spoken on a phone, will turn the attention of the human snoops towards you.

    You just have to hope that nothing they find will make you seem a threat, and therefore a target.

  • 411