NSA Officers Exploit System To Spy On Their Partners

/ 4 years ago


A report by the Wall Street Journal has revealed that NSA officers have exploited the NSA surveillance system to spy on their partners. The practice apparently isn’t common, but there have been a handful of cases over the last decade – in fact enough to get its own spycraft label “LOVEINT”. The LOVEINT incidents are labelled as examples of wilful misconduct of NSA employees which are a small part of the nearly 3000 privacy rule violations the NSA manages to rack up in the average year.

That said this story isn’t all “let’s bash the NSA” as the NSA did punish employees with administrative action or sometimes even termination in serious cases. According to officials the incidents involved overseas communications, as domestic ones are protected by FISA laws, and the vast majority of incidents were self-reported by violators. Such self-reporting occurs when an “employee takes a polygraph tests as part of a renewal of a security clearance”.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate intelligence commission stated that:

“Clearly, any case of noncompliance is unacceptable, but these small numbers of cases do not change my view that NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place…When errors are identified, they are reported and corrected.”

Image courtesy of the Washington Post

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