A new report from Circa has revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) under former President Barack Obama egregiously violated procedure by conducting an increasing amount of illegal searches to the private data of American citizens.
According to the report, one in 20 private electronic communications by Americas were viewed and kept by the agency.
The NSA readily admitted in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) hearing that their actions willingly violated the Fourth Amendment rights of millions of Americans whose information has been obtained, even after 2011 when NSA supervisors agreed to cease such operations.
In 2011, a new precedent for data collection was set forth under Section 702 of the NSA’s minimization procedures, which denied the agency the right to conduct certain searches against American citizens.
However, a notice dated October 26, 2016, proved during the FISC hearing that not only was it willingly being violated, but it had been violated at a much greater capacity than had been previously thought.
Circa quoted the ACLU, saying that the breaches were “some of the most serious [violations] to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself.”
These newest revelations fuel the fire set by Edward Snowden in 2013 regarding abuse of power by the NSA, and they do little to restore faith in the agency among the American people.
The agency was scorned for its missteps during the FISC hearing, and new regulations were put in place to by enforced by supervisors across all intelligence gathering agencies.