US Senator exposes NSA's unauthorized purchase of Americans' internet records

NSA tresspassing Americans: In 2021, it was disclosed that the Defense Intelligence Agency was utilizing location data from Americans' phones

Follow us:
Courtesy: Freepik

NSA tresspassing Americans: Startling revelations by US Senator Ron Wyden have brought to light the National Security Agency's (NSA) acquisition of internet browsing records of American citizens through undisclosed means. The obtained documents have prompted Senator Wyden to vehemently call on the intelligence community to cease the illegal acquisition of personal data from data brokers.

NSA's Covert Purchase and Data Breach Concerns

Senator Wyden's disclosure, following a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) order, has raised concerns about the NSA's purchase of internet records without obtaining necessary consent. The records in question can unveil sensitive information, ranging from visits to mental health resources and support for survivors of assault to interactions with telehealth providers specializing in reproductive health.

Violation of Privacy and Ethical Standards

In a letter addressed to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines, dated January 25, Senator Wyden stressed the need for the US government to distance itself from an industry engaged in illegal breaches of Americans' privacy. The senator emphasized that intelligence agencies should refrain from supporting practices that violate ethical and legal standards.

Historical Context and Legal Ambiguities

This revelation follows the senator's previous efforts, spanning three years, to unveil the NSA's internet record acquisitions. In 2021, it was disclosed that the Defense Intelligence Agency was utilizing location data from Americans' phones. Senator Wyden has consistently highlighted the legal uncertainties surrounding the data broker industry and intelligence community practices, driven by secrecy and a lack of user disclosure.

Call for Immediate Action and Transparency

Advocating for adherence to the FTC's regulations, Senator Wyden urged the DNI to implement policies preventing intelligence agencies from procuring unlawfully obtained private data. He further called for a thorough assessment of each data source against FTC standards, urging the prompt disposal of data failing to meet these criteria. Transparency is paramount, with retained data requiring congressional disclosure and public communication.

Senator Ron Wyden's exposé demands urgent action to curb unauthorized data procurement, safeguarding Americans' privacy and upholding ethical standards.