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Report: Ordinary Americans caught up in data sweep

Report: 90% Of NSA Data Isn't From Intended Targets

WASHINGTON (AP) - When the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted the online accounts of legally targeted foreigners over a four-year period it also collected the conversations of nine times as many ordinary Internet users, both Americans and non-Americans, according to a probe by The Washington Post.

Nearly half of those surveillance files contained names, email addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents, the Post reported in a story posted on its website Saturday night. While the federal agency tried to protect their privacy by masking more than 65,000 such references to individuals, the newspaper said it found nearly 900 additional email addresses that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or residents.

At the same time, the intercepted messages contained material of considerable intelligence value, the Post reported, such as information about a secret overseas nuclear project, double-dealing by an ostensible ally, a military calamity that befell an unfriendly power, and the identities of aggressive intruders into U.S. computer networks.

As an example, the newspaper said the files showed that months of tracking communications across dozens of alias accounts led directly to the capture in 2011 of a Pakistan-based bomb builder suspected in a 2002 terrorist bombing in Bali. The Post said it was withholding other examples, at the request of the CIA, that would compromise ongoing investigations.

The material reviewed by the Post included roughly 160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant-message conversations, some of them hundreds of pages long, and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts. It spanned President Barack Obama's first term, 2009 to 2012, and was provided to the Post by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.

The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted were catalogued and recorded, the Post reported. The newspaper described that material as telling "stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes." The material collected included more than 5,000 private photos, the paper said.

The cache Snowden provided to the newspaper came from domestic NSA operations under the broad authority granted by Congress in 2008 with amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to the Post.

By law, the NSA may "target" only foreign nationals located overseas unless it obtains a warrant based on probable cause from a special surveillance court, the Post said. "Incidental collection" of third-party communications is inevitable in many forms of surveillance, according to the newspaper. In the case of the material Snowden provided, those in an online chat room visited by a target or merely reading the discussion were included in the data sweep, as were hundreds of people using a computer server whose Internet protocol was targeted.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
jebby1 July 06 2014 at 5:05 PM

Considering the Obama Administration proclivity for lying and misleading the American people, I'd say the likelihood that the NSA is spying on people who are politically opposed to Obama is probably 100%.


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28 replies
darkfree July 06 2014 at 5:10 PM

I guess they found out that most of us are very unhappy with this President.

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6 replies
loara71 July 06 2014 at 5:10 PM

I thought our trustworthy president came right out and said.......... "ordinary citizens are not spied on"....That's what I heard from his very own mouth."

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17 replies
BroPower July 06 2014 at 6:08 PM

Big Brother
Is watching you...
Or should I say -- Big bro..!
Looks like George Orwell was right.
The only difference is the year.
Trade out the year 1984 for 2014.
What happens next ..?
Read the book for yourself.!
Warning --- it ain't good.!
Especially if you are a Conservative.!

Flag Reply +70 rate up
5 replies
Wiley July 06 2014 at 5:10 PM

it is a shame and a shock as I find more and more proof that my own Gov is my enemy --

Flag Reply +53 rate up
8 replies
runswthscisors40 July 06 2014 at 5:15 PM

Little Boy to Obama: "My Daddy says you spy on us."..........Obama: "He's not your Daddy.".............

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3 replies
vietnamvet1967 July 06 2014 at 5:21 PM

Can we say Worse than Communist China here anymore on snooping

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2 replies
milo103070 vietnamvet1967 July 06 2014 at 5:52 PM

Really, so why don't you live there? They do throw your ass in jail for protesting? They do force abortion on families? There's no such thing as freedom of speech over there. What a dumba** remark.

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1 reply
slackwarerobert milo103070 July 07 2014 at 11:19 AM

It IS WORSE . China is not breaking the law. Who cares if you have no freedom in china, it is LEGAL to have none there.

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Recon1 vietnamvet1967 July 06 2014 at 6:49 PM

docboxcar, what escapes you is that we have, or had, a Constitution which Obama doesn't like of follow. Although I've nothing to hide, except that I'm a Bible and gun owning disabled retired vet using the VA, that's irrelevant. I don't want the government snooping into my life. That's particularly true when we've seen this regime punish people using executive alphabet soup agencies for supporting Obama's political opponents and when we have a president who claimed he had a right to have citizens killed without due process.

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2 replies
ualfriend Recon1 July 07 2014 at 6:13 AM

where do you dream up this crap

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slackwarerobert Recon1 July 07 2014 at 11:27 AM

That is the only BAD thing about the spying. They tell the other soups to NOT try it with me.
That is where morals and integrity hurt. If I owned GM stock despite them being pro union, I could have shot obama when he broke the law and made it worthless.

ualfriend: OBAMA and HOLDER are the ones that said so, that they also have KILLED americans shows for the first time they didn't lie about something. But I have found through observation, that breaking the law takes precidence with this bunch. Even if it is legal to do something, they will not do it unless it breaks the law.

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mldinc@aol.com July 06 2014 at 5:12 PM

I hope Obama spied on all those Europeans who absolutely love him. Let them have a good taste of America's 1st Black African American President.

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8 replies
Richard Miller July 06 2014 at 6:44 PM

If it is so good, lets see Lerner's emails

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1 reply
balaland Richard Miller July 06 2014 at 7:24 PM

John Boehner's conversations also, why not , It was OK to record Sterling, right......

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1 reply
slackwarerobert balaland July 07 2014 at 11:43 AM

as long as you have a warrant it was.

Flag 0 rate up
Roy July 06 2014 at 5:13 PM

If only they would use all that technology to find and stop Rachel from Card Services...

Flag Reply +18 rate up
4 replies
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