2019 Jun 28, 7:15am
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The National Security Agency improperly collected phone call records of Americans last fall, months after a previous breach that compelled the agency to destroy millions of records from the contentious program, documents released Wednesday revealed.The redacted documents, obtained by the ACLU in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, do not indicate how many records NSA improperly collected in the October breach, nor which telecommunications provider submitted the improper data."These documents provide further evidence that the NSA has consistently been unable to operate the call detail record program within the bounds of the law," the ACLU said in a letter to Congress this week lobbying for an end to the program. The letter says elements within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concluded the October violations had a "significant impact" on privacy and civil rights, but that the Americans affected were not told of the breach. The program burst into the international spotlight in 2013, when renegade NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked information on U.S. surveillance techniques. Federal courts subsequently rejected the mass collection of American phone records, but Congress then passed the USA Freedom Act, which allows the collection with limits.