Remember when Obama said it is impossible for the NSA to spy to American citizens? Well, at least one guy didn't get the memo. As AP reports, two U.S. officials said one analyst was disciplined in years past for using NSA resources to track a former spouse. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Not that we blame him of course: if one has every capability to spy on anyone, certainly including exes, and there are absolutely no checks and balances to any violating behavior, then why not? Which of course goes to the root of the problem. And the other problem: if one guy has done it, all others have done it too. They just haven't been caught yet.
WSJ adds:The National Security Agency said Friday that some of its analysts knowingly and deliberately exceeded its surveillance authority on occasion over the past decade and that those involved were disciplined.
"Very rare instances of willful violations of NSA's authorities have been found," the agency said in a statement. It said none of the abuses involved violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or the USA Patriot Act. NSA violations of both laws have been highlighted in the leaks of classified information by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.
ully with any investigations - responding as appropriate," the agency statement said. "NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency's authorities."
The Senate Intelligence Committee was briefed this week on the willful violations by the NSA's inspector general's office, as first reported by Bloomberg.
Diane Feinstein takes the floor:National Security Agency officers on several occasions have channeled their agency’s enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests, U.S. officials said.
The practice isn’t frequent — one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade — but it’s common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT.
Spy agencies often refer to their various types of intelligence collection with the suffix of “INT,” such as “SIGINT” for collecting signals intelligence, or communications; and “HUMINT” for human intelligence, or spying.
The “LOVEINT” examples constitute most episodes of willful misconduct by NSA employees, officials said.
In the wake of revelations last week that NSA had violated privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions in a one-year period, NSA Chief Compliance Officer John DeLong emphasized in a conference call with reporters last week that those errors were unintentional. He did say that there have been “a couple” of willful violations in the past decade. He said he didn’t have the exact figures at the moment.
"In most instances" - yes Diane, we believe you."The committee has learned that in isolated cases over the past decade, a very small number of NSA personnel have violated NSA procedures — in roughly one case per year," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who chairs the committee, said in a statement Friday.
"These incidents ... in most instances did not involve an American's information," Feinstein said. "I have been informed by NSA that disciplinary action has been taken, and I am reviewing each of these incidents in detail."
As for Obama, it is all "inadvertent's" fault:
To think Obama and his superspies were preparing to reveal all of this even without Snowden's helping hand.Obama administration officials and intelligence overseers in Congress have described the FISA and Patriot Act violations as inadvertent. The NSA this week declassified a secret FISA court ruling from 2011 that revealed the agency had inadvertently scooped up, over a three-year period, as many as 56,000 emails of Americans not connected to terrorism.