Revealed: Feds have repeatedly violated legal limit of spying on citizens

In releasing 900 pages of documents, U.S. government agencies refused to say how many Americans’ telephone, e-mail or other communications have been intercepted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – or FISA – Amendments Act of 2008, or to discuss any specific abuses, the ACLU said. Most of the documents were heavily redacted…

The documents note that although oversight teams did not find evidence of “intentional or willful attempts to violate or circumvent the law . . . certain types of compliance incidents continue to occur,” as a March 2009 report stated…

All three semiannual reports released so far note that the number of violations “remains small, particularly when compared with the total amount of activity.” However, as some variously put it, “each [incident] – individually or collectively – may be indicative of patterns, trends, or underlying causes, that might have broader implications,” and underscore “the need for continued focus on measures to address underlying causes.” The most recent report was issued in May.