|Vittorio Hernandez |||Dec 28, 2014 08:27 AM EST|
(Photo : Reuters) National Security Agency (NSA) Director Michael Rogers arrives before testifying to a House (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing on "Cybersecurity Threats: The Way Forward" on Capitol Hill in Washington November 20, 2014. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW MILITARY)
The National Security Agency (NSA) was forced to admit on Christmas Eve how it wrongly spied on Americans in a list it released as a result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The documents were previously confidential, providing details of how the agency mishandled information and used illegal surveillance methods, Macroinsider reports.
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The agency was used for personal purposes, such as agents spying on their foreign girlfriends or wives by looking into their phone records for at least two years. The agent was told to stop such types of espionage.
Because of such illegal activities, one soldiers was demoted and his spending budget was cut and he was given a 45-day suspension.
These damning documents were quarterly reports from 2001 to 2003 submitted to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board created to monitor wrongdoing of the spy agency.
ACLU lawyer Patrick Toomey told The Guardian, the delay on release of the documents which they expected on December 22, was deliberate to have lesser impact on the public, because it is still holiday break.
But despite the revealing data, much information remain hidden because the reports were heavily edited with "salacious information" removed, save for minor ones attributed to human error.
The reports do not mention the allegation from NSA whistleblower that agents shared nude photos which they obtained through surveillance.
An NSA spokesperson even boasted that the agency went "to wonderful lengths to make certain compliance with the Constitution, laws and regulations."
It added, quoted by Kare 11, "By emphasizing accountability across all levels of the enterprise, and transparently reporting errors and violations to oversight authorities, NSA protects privacy and civil liberties while safeguarding the nation and out allies."
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