February 12, 2022 | 6 comments
The Central Intelligence Agency has reportedly been collecting data as part of a previously undisclosed program.
According to Senators Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich, the CIA has been covertly conducting warrantless surveillance as part of two separate data collection efforts.
This seems to have been going on both since and despite the 2013 disclosure by whistle-blower Edward Snowden of mass data collection through extensive internet and phone surveillance.
Until then, officials had stringently denied that this was going on – even going so far as to lie under oath. Named ‘Prism’, the operation was ultimately deemed unlawful by the US courts.
Now it seems as though the CIA is doing the same thing again.
A declassified report relating to one of these two new programs was released on Thursday, however requests to gain access to information about the other were refused.
Wyden and Heinrich have accused the agency of “undermin[ing] democratic oversight and pos[ing] risks to the long-term credibility of the Intelligence Community.”
The public deserved to know “the nature and full extent” of the surveillance, the pair argued.
“These reports raise serious questions about what information of ours the CIA is vacuuming up in bulk and how the agency exploits that information to spy on Americans,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a statement.
Efforts to determine the full scale and purpose of this mass surveillance remain ongoing.