Thursday, April 16, 2009

DoJ: U.S. Government Exceeded Surveillance Authority

Grant Gross writes on ComputerWorld:

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) exceeded its surveillance authority of U.S. residents under a far-reaching telephone and Internet communications wiretap program, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

During routine oversight of the NSA surveillance program, DOJ and NSA officials "detected issues that raised concerns," the DOJ said in a statement.

"Once these issues were identified, the Justice Department ... took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance," the statement added. "The Justice Department takes its national security oversight responsibilities seriously and works diligently to ensure that surveillance under established legal authorities complies with the nation's laws, regulations and policies, including those designed to protect privacy interests and civil liberties."

The DOJ statement came after a New York Times report Wednesday saying the NSA in recent months has exceeded congressional limits on the surveillance program. The Times report, quoting unnamed government officials, said the spying was "significant and systemic" in its over-collection of U.S. residents' phone calls and e-mail messages.

More here.


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