NSA Has 'Backdoor' to Search US Emails
Senator Ron Wyden confirms latest Snowden leak
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2013 1:30 PM CDT
Sen. Ron Wyden, seen in this file photo, thinks the NSA has gone too far.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – The NSA has a secret legal "backdoor" allowing it to search for emails and other information related to specific Americans without a warrant, the Guardian reports. It's the latest leak from Edward Snowden, and this time it comes with confirmation from Senate Intelligence Committee member and perpetual NSA critic Ron Wyden. Under a legal authority approved in 2011, the NSA can search its database directly for anything it may have collected—inadvertently or otherwise—on a "US Person," meaning anyone living in the US.

"A gap in the law that I call the 'backdoor searches loophole' allows the government to potentially go through these communications and conduct warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans," Wyden says. However, a secret glossary document leaked by Snowden indicates that, while the law allows such searches, "analysts may NOT/NOT implement any USP [US persons] queries until an effective oversight process has been developed." The document appears to have been last updated in June 2012, and it's unclear if this oversight has been implemented yet.

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Showing 3 of 30 comments
InferiorToYou
Aug 10, 2013 5:47 PM CDT
If you too would like to be a job creator, be sure to mention NSA eavesdropping in all your phone calls and emails. They will have to hire more snoopers to handle the traffic.
saucier111
Aug 10, 2013 10:11 AM CDT
This is the greatest way to colect data to blackmail people, Judges,congressmen,senators,or any politician, CEO and individuals who might know something. They control the sandbox, so they will do as they dam well please.
sickdaddy
Aug 10, 2013 6:59 AM CDT
I don't want Obama reading my fantasy football trades. I'm in his league!