NSA analysts who have committed intentional abuses of surveillance over the past decade will be investigated by the leaders of the US congressional intelligence committees.The information comes after it was revealed that some analysts ignored restrictions in a deliberate way when it came to spying on American citizens. While the number might not be too great, they said, it is still important to have them investigated, the chairman of the Senate intelligence panel, Dianne Feisten, told Bloomberg.
There were about a dozen cases over the past decade that involved “improper behavior on the part of the individual employees,” said the spokesperson of Mike Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee.
“Over the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA’s authorities have been found,” said the agency in a statement released to Bloomberg. “NSA takes very seriously allegations of misconduct and cooperates fully with any investigations – responding as appropriate. NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities.”4
This new information, of course, contravenes with another statement made by General Keith Alexander, director of the NSA. Earlier this month he said that absolutely no one had willfully or knowingly disobeyed the law “or tried to invade your civil liberties or privacy.”
Another misleading statement came from president Obama just a few days ago, when he claimed that he was confident no one at the NSA was trying to abuse this surveillance program or listen in on people’s emails and communications.
Yesterday, the Guardian revealed some new leaked documents tying to the files declassified by the NSA earlier this week in which it was stated that the FISA court had found the surveillance programs run by the agency as unconstitutional in 2011 and ordered them to make the necessary modifications to abide the law.
As an effect, the agency had to shell out millions upon millions of dollars to pay for the expenses of the program’s contributors, namely companies such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook.