Government officials requested to know the identities of more than 1,900 Americans whose information was swept up in National Security Agency surveillance programs last year, according to a newly-released intelligence report.
The identities of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents were found in 3,914 intelligence reports the NSA distributed last year, said the report released Tuesday. The annual report comes just weeks after President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser of possibly committing a crime when she asked government analysts to disclose the names of Trump associates documented in intelligence reports.
Most names in such intelligence reports are masked to protect privacy, but last year government officials requested that 1,934 identities — not initially revealed in the NSA reports — be unmasked in order to understand the intelligence being conveyed. In 2015, government officials requested the unmasking of 2,232 identities.
“This report provides a small window into the government’s surveillance activities, but it leaves vital questions unanswered,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement. “At the top of the list is how many Americans’ communications are being swept up.”
Nothing to see here, folks. These nearly 2,000 Americans were just ‘swept up’ and names were ‘incidentally collected’.