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The NSA Can’t Tell Bernie Sanders If It’s Spying On Him, Because That Would Violate His Privacy

Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 9:36 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security -- Write a comment


The National Security Agency has told Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that it can not answer his question about whether it collects information on members of Congress because doing so would violate the law.

In a letter to Sanders, which was obtained by The Huffington Post, Gen. Keith Alexander, who heads the agency, insisted that nothing the NSA “does can fairly be characterized as ‘spying on Members of Congress or American elected officials.'” But Alexander wouldn’t go more in depth than that, arguing that he would be violating the civilian protections of the program if he did.

“Among those protections is the condition that NSA can query the metadata only based on phone numbers reasonably suspected to be associated with specific foreign terrorist groups,” Alexander wrote. “For that reason, NSA cannot lawfully search to determine if any records NSA has received under the program have included metadata of the phone calls of any member of Congress, other American elected officials, or any other American without the predicate.”

  1. Alexander’s previous answers to Congress were based on the doctrine of “I’ll give you the best answer I can without divulging any secrets, so if we’re doing it in secret, I’ll be lying to you”. Good luck getting any bits of information out of his future answers.

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