Tech. Science. Culture.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Surprise! The NSA Repeatedly Violated Court Rules on Data Protection

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

In news that you already assumed was already happening, the NSA declassified documents that reveal repeated violations of American's phone records. A judge said the NSA had "daily violations" for over two years and that "thousands" of American phone numbers had been improperly accessed.

Is it massive incompetence or a blatant disregard for privacy? Probably a little of both. The NSA had told FISA courts in 2009 that "from a technical standpoint, there was no single person who had a complete understanding" of its phone records "architecture". So yeah, that sounds like the NSA has absolutely no idea what they're doing.

But at the same time, The Guardian points out how the government simply plays by a different set of rules. A declassified document revealed that the Justice Department said the government was acting in a manner "directly contrary" to a court order and "directly contrary to the sworn attestations of several executive branch officials" when it came to accessing the phone records database. Ugh. [IC on the Record via The Guardian]