The Obama administration has given up more of its surveillance secrets, acknowledging that it was ordered to stop scooping up thousands of Internet communications from Americans with no connection to terrorism — a practice it says was an unintended consequence when it gathered bundles of Internet traffic connected to terror suspects.
One of the documents that intelligence officials released Wednesday came because a court ordered the National Security Agency to do so. But it’s also part of the administration’s response to the leaks by analyst-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden, who revealed that the NSA’s spying programs went further and gathered millions more U.S. communications than most Americans realized.
The story in the Washington Post takes the typical cover-for-the-liberal-administration tack, but buried deep on page three is this jewel:
Under court order, the NSA resolved the problem by creating new ways to detect when emails by people within the U.S. were being intercepted and separated those batches of communications. It also developed new ways to limit how that data could be accessed or used. The agency also agreed to only keep these bundled communications for possible later analysis for a two-year period, instead of the usual five-year retention period.
That means the U.S. material is still gathered and kept, but is treated with stricter protocols.
The agency also, under court order, destroyed all the bundled data gathered between 2008, when the FISA court first authorized the collection under Section 702 of the Patriot Act, and 2011, when the new procedures were put in place.
The court signed off on the new procedures.
So yes. The NSA is STILL collecting our data.