According to a Circa report, the National Security Agency conducted illegal searches on American citizens for several years under President Obama.
A top-secret document revealed that the NSA “routinely violated American privacy protections” as it collected foreign intercepts and never disclosed these facts until just before the election last year.
In 2011, Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to uphold privacy safeguards that were put in place to protect Americans. But Circa reviewed a classified report that showed the Obama administration went back on its word and illegally gathered data in at least one out of every 20 intercepts.
Unsealed court documents stated that failing to disclose this breach was an “institutional lack of candor” and a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.” Don’t forget Obama promised to have the most transparent administration in history.
Since the “loosening” of the privacy rules by Obama in 2011, the NSA’s data collection tripled on U.S. identities, Circa’s report states. Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice cited the relaxing of rules as giving them the legal pathway to abuse privacy.
However, the watchdog within the NSA objects to Rice’s defense:
Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collections under Section 702. The Oct. 26, 2016 notice informed the court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had been previously disclosed to the Court.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed his disgust on Fox News: "If we determine this to be true, this is an enormous abuse of power. This will dwarf all other stories. There are hundreds and hundreds of people.”
The American Civil Liberties Union slammed this revelation and noted the gross lack of oversight in the U.S. intelligence communities.
Now that they are in the hot seat, the NSA has declared it “will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target.” The report notes that an American citizen didn’t have to have direct communication with the “target” and only had to mention the target to set off the NSA alarms. Now, the security agency has promised to “delete the vast majority of its upstream internet data to further protect the privacy of U.S. person communications.”
“The NSA conducts thousand of searches a year on data involving Americans and the actual numbers of violations were redacted from the documents Circa reviewed,” the report states.
It’s pertinent to note the media silence on this damning report. Apparently citizens aren’t as important to protect as Obama.
For more details from the report, click here.