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US sought names of 1934 Americans in intelligence reports

US sought names of 1934 Americans in intelligence reports

"The report from the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was the first measure of the effects of the 2015 USA Freedom Act, which limited the NSA to collecting phone records and contacts of people US and allied intelligence agencies suspect may have ties to terrorism", reported Reuters on Tuesday. That said, this is still a massive number considering the NSA is supposed to now be limited in its authority to collect bulk data.

The document, published late on Tuesday, specified that the NSA collected through telecommunications services providers such phone calls data as originating and terminating telephone numbers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity numbers, telephone calling card numbers and calls duration.

Critics of the USA Freedom Act had previously warned that it doesn't do enough to block the NSA from collecting bulk phone records, and that mass surveillance is still possible.

A report from the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats presented the first measure of the effects of the 2015 USA Freedom Act, which limited the NSA to collecting the phone records and contacts of people that the United States and allied intelligence agencies suspect may have ties to "terrorism".

The government report detailed that the NSA still amassed vast amounts of data under a new system, despite having been court ordered to only use the system to apprehend 42 terrorism suspects in 2016.

In fact, the transparency report mentioned one occasion in 2016 when the Federal Bureau of Investigation collected intelligence on an American while running a search of Section 702 data that was going after evidence of a crime unrelated to foreign intelligence.

The report comes amid President Donald Trump's claim that the Obama White House acted inappropriately in asking intelligence analysts to disclose names.

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Both Republican and Democratic members of the congressional intelligence committees have said that so far they have found no evidence to support either allegation. And it's a topic that should be number one.

Officials said that they don't have a breakdown of how many individuals' phone records are represented in that 151m.

"The same technologies that are being used to connect us, to tie us together, to let you listen to this right now, are also being used to make records about your activity", Edward Snowden said during an interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is the subject of significant debate in Congress, with a newfound push to reform the rule that permits the NSA to collect foreign intelligence information on non-U.S. citizens living or traveling outside the U.S.

Because the 151 million would include multiple calls made to or from the same phone numbers, the number of people whose records were collected also would be much smaller, the officials said.

The Office of the National Director said in the report that the names of 1,934 United States people were unmasked previous year in response to specific requests, down from the 2,232 people unmasked in 2015.

One observer of the US intelligence community said the rise in targets - which hit 92,707 in 2014 and 94,368 in 2015 - might reflect an increasingly diverse gamut of adversaries rather than an intensification of surveillance.

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