Staff working at America’s National Security Agency – the eavesdropping unit that was revealed to have spied on millions of people – have used the technology to spy on their lovers.
Dianne Feinstein, a senator who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, said the NSA told her committee about a set of “isolated cases” that have occurred about once a year for the last 10 years. The spying was not within the US, and was carried out when one of the lovers was abroad.
One employee was disciplined for using the NSA’s resources to track a former spouse, the Associated Press said.
Last week it was disclosed that the NSA had broken privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions over a one-year period.
John DeLong, NSA chief compliance officer, said that those errors were mainly unintentional, but that there have been “a couple” of wilful violations in the past decade.
NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests
Spy agencies often refer to their various types of intelligence collection with the suffix of “INT,” such as “SIGINT” for collecting signals intelligence, or communications; and “HUMINT” for human intelligence, or spying.
The “LOVEINT” examples constitute most episodes of willful misconduct by NSA employees, officials said.
In the wake of revelations last week that NSA had violated privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions in a one-year period, NSA Chief Compliance Officer John DeLong emphasized in a conference call with reporters last week that those errors were unintentional. He did say that there have been “a couple” of willful violations in the past decade. He said he didn’t have the exact figures at the moment.