NSA Records Show Further Rule Breaking

NSA HQThe U.S. National Security Agency released declassified records that show the spy agency broke rules in targeting specific citizen’s telephone records, and then proceeded to hide it from the courts overseeing the operation.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released the records Tuesday in response to a series of lawsuits filed by privacy groups. The documents cover the four years stretching from 2006 to 2009.

NSA Director Keith Alexander admitted in one of the declassified documents that the NSA went beyond the authorities yielded to the agency by the courts “and some of these inconsistencies were not recognized for more than two and a half years.”

What the director is referring to is the agency running phone numbers against databases from May 2006 to January 2009 without a reasonable expectation that those numbers were connected to terrorists. The NSA waited to report the violations until five days before President Obama was sworn in.

NSA officials were also found to illegally add phone numbers to a list that received close attention.

The NSA’s surveillance activities have fallen under close scrutiny after Edward Snowden, a contractor, released a bevy of classified NSA documents to the The Guardian and the Washington Post.

Clapper released the records on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary — the terrorist attach that has since motivated the intensive domestic search for terrorists and the next attack.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to Military.com. He can be reached at mhoffman@tandemnsi.com.
  • Bernard

    I can’t believe we let this Edward Snowden guy get away, but I guess the Russians were always good at spying on us :-

    • Rest Pal

      “I can’t believe we let this Edward Snowden guy get away” — where there is a will, there is a way.

      “I guess the Russians were always good at spying on us ” — nowhere nearly as good and extensive as the US federal government. (the US govt guarantees this, with full support from people like yourself.)

      • Bernard

        They stole the atom bomb from us and they probably planted Snowden. Why else are they giving him asylum? Why else did he run there and China (friend of Russia)?

        • Rest Pal

          America stole the atomic bomb from Germany and Nazi scientists.

          • tiger

            Head scratch……… We had plenty of our own brains on that project. No stealing needed

          • Rest Pal

            But it was German brains that produced the atomic bomb in America.

            The atomic bomb was conceived by German physicists. Just because the US captured German physicists and engineers and brought them to the states to finish the development doesn’t render those brains “American”

    • 10-4
      • Bernard

        That’s a lot better than being traitor to the United States of America who violated a sworn oath and even swore that oath with the very intention of breaking so he could run back to Russia.

    • VCT_Retired_Army

      Ummm … because we didn’t know he was a threat until after he left the country and went to the press from Hong Cong?

  • Robert Thiviergw

    LMAO, he helps privacy groups and the Senate address privacy issues and you want to hang him?

    • tiger

      Snowden IS NOT a good guy. While you may like the opening of information to public view. The damage to the greater good is massive. Bucking the channels was the wrong thing to do. Now he is a Man without a country.


        Got that right. Amazing that even on 9/11, people fail to see what these programs have prevented since then. Its sad.

        • UAVGeek

          Do I need wake Ben Franklin up and bring him out in the midst of the debate? Even if they were successful, it wouldn’t be worth it.

        • WL
        • Rest Pal

          BSS ENTERPRISE, what’s your evidence those BS programs have prevented anything? In fact, what’s your evidence that 9/11 was actually what the government claims it to be?

      • beslagsmed

        If he’s not the good guy, tell me who is? We already know BHO, NSA and many in Congress are bad guys.

        • tiger

          Good Guy? The guys In the NYFD who ran into certain death some 12 year ago today were good guys……
          You work the chain of command & those in Congress with oversight. Not run off to Hong Kong & cause a spy breach worse than the Cold War bunch like John Walker.

          • UAVGeek

            The chain of command IS the problem. The system IS the problem. You don’t solve jack working within it.

      • xzimppledink

        Snowden did what the law requires, report violation of the law. we are a democracy and if our government cant’ do their job without breaking the law they should resign and let someone who can do it. law MUST be respected.

        • tiger

          He did not take it to those with oversight, he took it to the press. Not the same thing. Then he runs to China & Russia & spills his guts to them. That is not reporting a violation of the law….

          • Rest Pal

            The press AND the people are supposed to be an integral part of the checks and balances against government abuse of power – this is pretty explicitly stated by the founding members of the US. And it worked in Snowden’s case.

            The US government IS the criminal offender in this case. SO what’s the point to taking the case to the criminal when you already know before hand that you will be jailed for exposing crimes by the government itself?

            Your so-called “solution” is theoretically unsound and practically infeasible. This case doesn’t even require complex logical or legal analysis; it falls squarely in the realm of common sense.

        • VCT_Retired_Army

          Bull – he did not report it to the FBI or the NSA IG – he leaked classified information to the press.

          • xzimppledink

            I reported a coverup as engineer over the ALQ-131 anti missile pod that would have jeopardized the lives of flight crew and aircraft. I went the defined route of going to the inspector general and absolutely nothing was done. I kept making noise and was fired and lifetime blacklisted but as result of my whistle blowing not a single aircraft that was equipped with my pod has been lost and not a single pilot or flight crew member has left a grieving widow. I paid a high price with false defamation and lifetime blacklisting. At least 3 other NSA whistle blowers went the defined route before Snowden and not a single step to correct the direct constitutional violation was taken. I’m sure that anyone who has taken the “proper” measures will agree. it’s not a matter of national security, its saving face and anger at being apprehended in a lie.

    • Bernard

      He should be shot, he violated a sworn oath an is a traitor the United State of America now hiding on Russian soil.

  • curt

    NSA is giving Israel intel on American citizens…. Snowden is a good thing…

  • just drink the friggin kool aid already. Israel is our only real ally. the NSA will only use intel to fight terror. and no one needs an ar-15 because the right to bear arms only covers muskets and stuff like that.

  • Peter Guild

    Edward Snowden is a hero. Even if he disrupted “the greater good”. Privacy of U.S. citizens is a right granted by The U.S. Constitution. Russia is now openly questioning the U.S. for human rights violations. Putin has shown leadership as a politician and showed up the current administration in the U.S. Finally, our corrupt Federal government is getting a piece of its own medicine. Apparently, those who got Barack Obama elected by voting fraud didn’t consider the superior opposition he would face from outside the U.S.A. Peter Guild, Quincy, MA.

    • Bob

      What are you smoking Snowden is a traitor and should be locked up for life. Putting Americans in harms way .I’m sorry your from MA, that makes your statement even worse. They were other ways Snowden could of handled this without causing harm to our programs to protect the USA.

      • Rest Pal

        Wrong. Snowden is an American hero. You are a traitor, like the US government, because you’ve betrayed the founding principles of the country.

      • Brian
      • Brian
      • Brian
        • tiger

          He compromised ongoing intel collection operations. Those who were under observation are not warned & change tactics. Al Quedia changed from using trackable communications to hand delivered messages. It was not till we could ID the Courier that we found Bin Ladden’s hideout. Much like the release of Submarine operations leaks that tipped off the Russians We were tapping underwater cables near their bases. Or the location of the Sosus net to hear their ships & subs.

    • tiger

      Snowden is a prick who should be in jail.

    • humanx

      Privacy is not a right granted by the U. S. Constitution. It is not a right in the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10) or any other amendments. Secondly, heroes don’t flee their own countries. Third, Putin is an opportunist (if not also a common thief ). Fourth, due to the large election margins, voting fraud didn’t get Obama elected. The election results were so large, they were never challenged in court. By the time Russian intelligence gets through with Snowden, he’ll wish he had reported any violations as per the Agency’s rules. But by then, the damage is done and people are dead because of Snowden’s ‘conscience.’ I can’t wait until we get him back!!

      • Rest Pal

        Wrong on all counts.

      • d. kellogg

        “But by then, the damage is done and people are dead because of Snowden’s ‘conscience..”

        Who, specifically?
        Who died directly (or even indirectly) because of this?
        Just like that Army PFC who released all that secure info,
        it has yet to be proven exactly who was killed directly or indirectly because of the leaks.
        Not that I defend their actions in the least,
        this is more a case of somebody high up getting a sucker-punch bloody nose and they lost face because of it.
        Oddly enough, go figure it took the US 4 years to bring to justice a willful terrorists who intentionally, deliberately, without remorse, slaughtered US servicemembers and some of their loved ones on a US military installation. We all know Hassan did it, yet the travesty of American military justice took 4 years to convict him.
        And he deliberately intentionally killed people.

        With all the code of conduct and morality/ethics briefings the US government enforces its employees (military and civilian) to attend annually, it’s the epitome of hypocrisy that certain groups within the US government feel such rules, regulations, standards, and expectations of moral and ethical behavior do not apply to them.

      • Charlie

        “Privacy is not a right granted by the U.S. Constitution.” ??! You are technically correct in that it is not granted by the Constitution. It is a God-given right that is explicitly recognized and spelled out by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution by the explicit wisdom of the Founding Fathers and British civil law from which our whole system of laws originates.

        The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” How can that not be clear to anyone? Ben Franklin also stated that those who surrender their freedom for simple and temporary safety will ultimately lose both.

        As a 20-year military member I recognize that we have to allow the Government at times to violate our constitutional rights a little for the greater good, but it must not be a wholesale termination of our rights done for carte-blanche snooping and hoping it is right. The FISA protections that were intended to guarantee that such illegal activity would not happen obviously failed; honest politicians (if there is such a thing) must address these failures and never allow them to happen again.

        When NSA admits thousands of “accidents” and “goofs,” the results must be the same as when I served — people must be fired (thrown out), “heads must roll, from the top down. Such unethical behavior must not be tolerated or allowed to happen again.

      • snowwhite

        freedom from an oppressive government is a right. If your argument is true then why are we discussing “illegal” actions by these people? why are we reporting treaty violations?? We violated treaties. Like it or not, these agencies and actions have made us the bad guys. And yes, the obama machine is at best opportunistic as well. With him and his thug lap dog holder America has dimmed sooooo much. Its pathetic.

    • VCT_Retired_Army

      Please name the paragraph or amendment that say we have a right to privacy. We have rights for due process and a lot of freedoms to and from. But the word privacy isn’t in there. And what election fraud can you prove?

  • If I had the money, I would offer a reward/bounty for Snowden. He may have had good intentions, but with the way he did it, he fucking marked himself a traitor that deserves to be shot!

    • Menzie

      How else does one reveal classified secrets? I do not believe he deserves to be shot but his sentence is not strong enough. Maybe Russia will let us lease a gulag just for him.

    • Warg

      Actually it is you who, promoting a totalitarian 1984esque state, deserve to be shot

  • Menzie

    And….this is a durprise to whom?

    • Spunkbubble

      Those who can’t dpell

    • Rest Pal

      “And….this is a durprise to whom?”

      It depends on what dur word “durprise” means. Is it a word Mentle?

  • Speedy

    Totaly passing on the NSA’s good or bad hobbies…

    Looking at that picture… The carparks for that building have a bigger footprint than the building.

    Haven’t you people heard of multi level car parks???

    BUILD UP, sell the other car parks to other government agencies, or use it to build more NSA buildings to hold all the Laywers the NSA will have to employ to handle their naughtyness.

    It is almost criminal to waste land like that.
    Bet it isn’t even pay parking?

    • VCT_Retired_Army

      Nobody should have to “pay” to park when they are working. All employers should provide parking for their employees.

      • Rest Pal

        Disagree. Using this line of argument, all employees should be provided free gas for driving to work.

      • Speedy

        What about if I walk, ride a push bike, catch a bus or ride a motorbike (Free parking in Oz for Motorbikes EVERYWHERE). Does my boss have to cover any of the following:

        Shoe wear and tear,
        Bike costs (Repairing flats caused by dogs eating tyres etc)
        Bus fare
        Motorbike rego and fuel?

      • blight_

        I thought workers only had the right to work, or to find employment elsewhere. Darn those cushy government jobs…

  • Ray Clark

    We as a nation need to “wake up” off our Jerry Springer sofa time and understand that we have lost our way as a nation of the people, by the people, for the people and now have an elite ruling class with an unelected 4th branch of government, the Ministry of Information, that is key in influencing the electoral process and creating public opinion through the dissemination of incredibly biased information. Because we already “have” lost our way, the NRA has to promote “Hunter’s rights” because well more than a majority of the people understand that the “right for the people” to bear arms is for the sole purpose of holding a despotic government accountable. Also, in the day these words were penned into our Constitution, the muzzle loader you refer to was the state of the art weapon at the time and comfortably in the hands of the Militia, the Continental Army, and the people. Snowden is a whistle blower who should be protected for defending the people of these United States of America, against a tyrannical government that has for too long now overstepped its bounds, even though way too many of its citizens have been lulled to sleep.

    • snowwhite

      I am in complete agreement! We need to organize and march!

  • anon

    NSA -> 10 years -> SS ?

    • Rest Pal

      might even be as soon as 5 years.


      NSA-> 10 years -> another 9/11, cause people don’t give a crap.

  • tiger

    I guess they want the freedom to be the next “Carlos Danger?”

  • HJH

    The liberals are trying to preserve your rights as well.

    And we Americans should relish our rights to redress grievences with the government, something that cannot be done in China or Russia.

  • Another Voice

    So… it’s bad for Russia or China to read our emails, but good when our own government does the same thing? Those on this list who proclaim an intimate knowledge of our Constitution show how limited their understanding of wording and concepts really are. Our Constitution was written to limit or eliminate government intrusion into the citizen’s lives, writings, possessions, beliefs, etc.

    • blight_

      Gotta break it to you, but the Constitution was pretty hopeless from the get-go. Think the Alien Act and Sedition Acts would pass Constitutional muster? Sure, Judicial Review would have to wait, but even before then a legislative branch would have had the power to pass laws undoing previous laws, but never did so (even then, people were human instead of objective).

  • Another Voice
  • Another Voice

    So… it’s bad for Russia or China to read our emails, but good when our own government does the same thing? Those on this list who proclaim an intimate knowledge of our Constitution show how limited their understanding of wording and concepts really are. Our Constitution was written to limit or eliminate government intrusion into the citizen’s lives, writings, possessions, beliefs, etc.

    • tiger

      There no absolute to anything. You have a freedom of religion, yet we don’t let you sacrifice virgins to the Volcano gods…… You have free speech, but not to slander.

      • snowwhite

        Theyve admitted that what theyve done is illegal. Even YOU can admit theyve done WRONG. And even if you wont the whole world knows its true and blame lays at the feet of our tyrant “leader” in the white house.


      Difference is what is done with the info collected from emails. Russians and Chinese folks go on do, well, why don’t you ask the NSA? In our case, we are protected.

  • NSA mission is “global monitoring, collection, decoding, translation and analysis of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.” I’d say it is doing a pretty good job. It processes 1.7 BILLION emails and phone calls EACH DAY with automated software looking for patterns of communications between terrorists and other targets. If you think it is reading your shopping list you are failing miserably to understand the scale involved.

  • Bob Heffern

    I will make some comments to resolve the N.S.A. question.

    First do not believe the news you see on TV unless you absolutely know the facts yourself because you searched for them to find the real truth.

    example: General Clarke was given the list of the planned takeover of countries.

    Iraq,Aphganistan,Lybia,Syria and then Iran. Russia and China are slowly being surrounded with our military bases and they are aware of it..In recognition of this Putin flew to China and they signed a agreement to protect ea. other. Why wasn,t the Boston Chief of police notified about a potential terrorist threat before it happened. 1400 plus people were effected by the chemical attack in Syria but only 300 plus died not 1400. Why did this happen while congress was in recess ? And so on. Think on things you see on the news before you believe it . Thats all I have to say. Pardon for any misspelled words.

    Airplanes flying threw buildings caused cars to be turned over and flattened ????

    • tiger

      Bob, you sound like the Grassy knoll, ufo, area 51, fake moon landing, black chopper bunch………….. The Agents of the MIB will visit you shortly to clear your thoughts.

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      “First do not believe the news you see on TV” – so we should believe some guy on the interwebs instead?

      “General Clarke was given the list of the planned takeover of countries” – and you know this how?

      “Why wasn,t the Boston Chief of police notified about a potential terrorist threat before it happened” – maybe no-one knew enough in advance to issue a valid warning? Or maybe someone f**ked up and the message never got through the bureaucracy.

      “1400 plus people were effected by the chemical attack in Syria but only 300 plus died not 1400” – because nerve agents are not 100% effective.

      “Why did this happen while congress was in recess” – why wouldn’t it? Coincidences happen.

      “Airplanes flying threw buildings caused cars to be turned over and flattened” – it’s called “debris”.

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen

      • Bob Heffern
        • Thomas L. Nielsen

          OK, here goes:

          “If you go to you tube and do a search on General Clarks interviews” –
          So you expect me to go and find your supporting evidence for you? That’s not how it works. The least you could do was provide a link. I mean, you have actually seen this supposed clip, right? And not just heard about it?

          “The amount of deaths stated by the news media was incorrect” –
          The media got something wrong? No, really? Well that obviously wouldn’t happen without a major conspiracy somewhere….

          “It,s common sense that the Boston Police Chief should have been advised to be on his toes”
          No one should have to warn or advise the Boston Chief of Police to be on his toes in a situation like this. He should know!

          “Congress on recess? Have we yet to hear the U.N. inspectors evidence on what really or who was responsible. NO.” –
          And this has what to do with Congress being or not being in recess, which was what you highlighted as “suspicious”?


          • Thomas L. Nielsen


            “Oh , why were we not shown dead bodies of the Rebels in this area where the nerve gas was distributed.” –
            Maybe there were no rebels in the area, or maybe the rebels evacuated their dead and injured?

            “They would have died very quickly with their weapons by their side?” –
            That depends entirely on exposure levels and available protective equipment. As I vouchsafed to you earlier: nerve agents, like other weapons, are not 100% certain, immediate killers.

            “Explain to me where the force came from to turn cars over two blocks away from the incident of the Plane fly through issue?” –
            First of all, argumentation from ignorance doesn’t work. The fact that you (or I, or anyone else not an expert in collapsing buildings) cannot explain something doesn’t automatically mean a conspiracy. However, an airliner flying through a large building, which then collapses, produces a lot of debris flying around. Two blocks sounds pretty conservative.

            Oh, and it’s Nielsen, not Nelson.

            Regards & all,

            Thomas L. Nielsen

      • Rest Pal

        “so we should believe some guy on the interwebs instead?” – no, but that’s not a reason to believe the mainstream media / propaganda network.

        “why wouldn’t it? Coincidences happen. ” – with the US govt, well-planned coincidences happen far more frequently.

        “it’s called “debris”” – falling debris don’t normally overturn cars. Shock wave and debris of nearby explosions usually do. And there were plenty of explosions near ground level.

  • W Johnson

    It is so hypacritical how the United States will go to such great lengths to gather information to “quote” Protect its people………But will allow the invation of an ununiformed army to walk across our borders. What a joke! ANOTHER If a person shoots and kills a pregnant woman they can be charged with a double murder BUT it is legal to have an abortion and kill a baby. Go figure. We need to look at where we came from , who we are , and what we are becoming. Merry Christmas? What does that mean? Black Friday …shopping? Just go out on your back porch at night and look up. WOW! GOD!