Speed Reads

surveillance nation

NSA releases documents confirming a decade of illegal spying on Americans

On Christmas Eve, the NSA released redacted documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the ACLU that confirm that the agency illegally spied on Americans for more than a decade. In addition to monitoring Americans' overseas communications, the NSA inappropriately and insecurely shared and stored data it collected about U.S. citizens.

While past NSA revelations have shown agents intentionally misusing their spying power for personal gain — like the case of an employee who monitored his foreign girlfriend's phone calls for a month — this report also includes at least one noteworthy tale of incompetence: An NSA agent spied on himself when he accidentally requested surveillance "of his own personal identifier instead of the selector associated with a foreign intelligence target."