Declassified National Security Agency documents have spurred criticism of government surveillance programs.

Agency’s spying programs violated court standards, disclosures show
By Tom Risen
September 11, 2013 RSS Feed Print

More than 1,800 pages of declassified documents reveal that the National Security Agency (NSA) violated the privacy protections of Americans between 2006 and 2009 by failing to meet a court-ordered standard for its phone data collection program.

In a statement on Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper detailed the disclosure of the documents, which included Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions.

“Release of these documents reflects the Executive Branch’s continued commitment to making information about this intelligence collection program publicly available when appropriate and consistent with the national security of the United States,” Clapper said in the statement.

The NSA declined to comment beyond public statements about the disclosure.

The disclosure was part of a court-ordered release of documents following Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union against the Department of Justice.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., responded to the disclosure with a statement promising that his committee would hold more oversight hearings with Obama Administration officials to determine “appropriate checks and balances,” on government surveillance.

“Americans deserve to understand more about the NSA’s collection and use of their phone records, and in particular about the types of systemic problems revealed in these documents,” Leahy said.

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