WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Wednesday denied that the National Security Agency (NSA) has domestic Internet surveillance program, with its reach even broader than U. S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest reiterated President Barack Obama's assertion that there was no domestic surveillance program going on in the country despite new media revelations about the scope of U.S. emails and Internet communications that can get scooped up by the NSA.
The NSA's surveillance efforts were "a narrowly focused program that is focused specifically at foreign intelligence," Earnest said at a daily briefing.
Domestic information was only occasionally accessed by the NSA, which amounted to "compliance issues" rather than systematic spying on U.S. citizens, he said.
Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the NSA's surveillance reach is broader than officials previously disclosed.
The newspaper cited current and former officials as saying that the NSA, which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U. S. citizens, has built a surveillance network that has the capacity to reach roughly 75 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans.
The newspaper said that in some cases, the NSA retains the content of emails and phone calls made with Internet technology between U.S. citizens, adding that these programs filter and gather information through partnership with major U.S. telecommunications companies.
The U.S. intelligence community has insisted the Internet surveillance program is restricted to foreign targets.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had improperly collected thousands of emails from Americans with no ties to terrorism over three years before a special court ruled it unconstitutional, according to court opinions declassified by intelligence officials on Wednesday.
The release of three secret U.S. court opinions came amid escalating public debates over the intelligence community's surveillance programs, which were first revealed by former defense contractor Edward Snowden in June. Full story
WASHINGTON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration on Wednesday declassified three documents to give some broad details to the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program, before Senators grilled intelligence officials about the program in a hearing.
The sweeping phone surveillance program is one of the two secret surveillance programs revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden in June, which have been under fire ever since.Full story
WASHINGTON, July 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday narrowly defeated an amendment of the Defense Authorization Act that would restrict surveillance of the American public by the National Security Agency (NSA).
In a 205-217 vote, the House rejected the amendment proposed by Rep. Justin Amash, a libertarian Republican from Michigan. A majority of Democrats, 111 of them, voted for the amendment despite opposition of the White House, while 83 voted against. The Republicans voted 94-134. The GOP leadership also opposes the amendment. Full story