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NSA: It Would Violate Your Privacy to Say if We Spied on You
The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency wont 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 Senates 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.
reply to Name Game You'd think for a bunch of spies they'd have found a better reply if they actually wanted to divulge the data. "We'd answer that question if not for the fact that it would be a violation of privacy to 2387 US citizens" The good senators could even ask "How many US citizens privacy would be violated if we threatened to lock your asses up for contempt?"