The National Security Agency today released reports on intelligence collection that may have violated the law or U.S. policy over more than a decade, including unauthorized surveillance of Americans’ overseas communications.
The NSA, responding to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, released a series of required quarterly and annual reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board that cover the period from the fourth quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2013.
The heavily-redacted reports include examples of data on Americans being e-mailed to unauthorized recipients, stored in unsecured computers and retained after it was supposed to be destroyed, according to the documents. They were posted on the NSA’s website at around 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
“It is unrealistic to expect the private sector to withstand the actions of nation-states,” Admiral Rogers said. “I think it is also unrealistic to expect the government to deal with this all by itself. How do we create the partnerships that allow us to work together as a team.”
A partnership with Silicon Valley corporations is likely to be an uphill battle. At a recent Apple event, Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief executive, said that the company’s priority was to protect consumer privacy and that it would not loosen security or encryption for intelligence-gathering efforts.
“There’s been some comments from some law enforcement types that said, ‘Hey, this is not good, we don’t have the flexibility we had before,’ ” Mr. Cook said. “If law enforcement wants something they should go to the user and get it. It’s not for me to do that.”