NSA misrepresented scope of data collection to secret court

NSA misrepresented scope of data collection to secret court
  • Wednesday, August 21, 2013
  • Evan Perez
  • CNN

The Obama administration on Wednesday declassified opinions from a secret court that oversees government surveillance showing the National Security Agency was broadly collecting domestic Internet communications of Americans and misrepresenting the scope of that effort to the court.

The three opinions include one from October 2011 by U.S. District Judge John Bates, who scolded government lawyers that the NSA had, for the third time in less than three years, belatedly acknowledged it was collecting more data than it was legally allowed to.

"NSA acquires valuable information through its upstream collection, but not without substantial intrusions on Fourth Amendment protected interests," Bates wrote.

The focus of the opinion was the government's admission that for three years, under its authority to monitor foreign communications, it had been collecting information beyond what it gets from Internet service providers, and included data that was entirely domestic.
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