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Fri Apr 28, 2017, 09:41 PM

NSA concedes violating surveillance limits and pledges curbs on US email collection

Source: The Guardian

NSA concedes violating surveillance limits and pledges curbs on US email collection

• NSA agrees to cease so-called ‘about’ surveillance under 2008 legal authority
• But agency has not indicated whether such data collection will stop wholesale

Spencer Ackerman in New York
Friday 28 April 2017 21.59 BST

Amid an unexpected fight over US surveillance powers from congressional Republicans, the National Security Agency has agreed to curb its highly controversial collection of Americans’ emails that discuss foreign intelligence targets, although how comprehensive that stoppage is remains unclear.

According to a US official directly familiar with the decision, the NSA has agreed to cease so-called “about” surveillance under a critical 2008 legal authority, known as section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa).

Yet the NSA has other authorities available to it for collecting substantial amounts of the same sort of American communications, including a Ronald Reagan-era executive order, known as 12333. The NSA has not indicated whether or not the “about” collection will cease wholesale, or merely migrate to a different legal authority.

Though the NSA continues to defend the legality of the surveillance it is curbing, it conceded on Friday that the decision follows an internal review that determined it violated constraints agreed to with a secret surveillance court. It called those violations “inadvertent”.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/28/nsa-stops-surveillance-us-residents-foreign-targets

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