WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington Post is reporting that the National Security Agency broke privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008.
That's according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents obtained by the newspaper.
The Post said Thursday that most infractions involved unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the U.S., both of which are restricted by law and executive order. They range from significant violations to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. emails and telephone calls.
In one instance, the NSA decided it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. The newspaper said the documents were provided to it earlier this summer by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.