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NSA Claims It Would Violate Americans' Privacy To Say How Many of Us It Spied On 221

colinneagle writes "Would you believe the Inspector General from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it would violate the privacy of Americans for the IG office to tell us how many people in the United States had their privacy violated via the NSA warrantless wiretap powers which were granted under the FISA Amendment Act of 2008? The Act is up for a five-year extension, but Senator Ron Wyden said he'd block FAA renewal until Congress received an answer from the NSA about how many 'people in the United States have their communications reviewed by the government' under FAA powers."
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NSA Claims It Would Violate Americans' Privacy To Say How Many of Us It Spied On

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  • Re:mistake? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZeroSumHappiness ( 1710320 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @03:17PM (#40374213)

    Wyden often distinguishes himself as a human being first and a politician second.

  • by Memophage ( 88273 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @04:17PM (#40375313)

    That sounds frighteningly accurate.
    From a different Wired article: []

    NSA can intercept millions of domestic communications and store them in a data center like Bluffdale and still be able to say it has not “intercepted” any domestic communications. This is because of its definition of the word. “Intercept,” in NSA’s lexicon, only takes place when the communications are “processed” “into an intelligible form intended for human inspection,” not as they pass through NSA listening posts and transferred to data warehouses.

    So, the short, accurate answer to Wyden's question would be "We're spying on everyone. Literally. It would take too much work to even calculate the number of people we're spying on. Go away."

  • Re:Obvious solution (Score:4, Informative)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @12:29AM (#40380911) Homepage

    How about if you are targeting specific people and their families for illicit references to be used in blackmail and extortion to ensure you get your political way. So searches to references to drug terms, prostitution, bribery, even comments that reflect their true beliefs rather than the masquerade. So who are the NSA protecting what secrets are they keeping secret because they can use them to their advantage, not only to keep say the CIA and NSA in control but when those people leave, to enrich them as private contractors.

    This is a case of one thing leading to another. How many peoples privacy did they invade ie not all, then how where those people selected, what pattern was used for the targeted invasion of privacy. What information was gathered and who had access to that information and what information was destroyed including records of who had access to that information.

    Should there not be an audit to substantiate that it all wasn't a huge blackmail and extortion intelligence gathering campaign.

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