Some National Security Agency analysts deliberately ignored restrictions on their authority to spy on Americans multiple times in the past decade, contradicting Obama administration officials' and lawmakers' statements that no willful violations occurred.
"Over the past decade, very rare instances of willful violations of NSA's authorities have been found," the NSA said in a statement to Bloomberg News. "NSA takes very seriously allegations of misconduct, and cooperates fully with any investigations—responding as appropriate. NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency's authorities."
The incidents, chronicled in a new report by the NSA's inspector general, provide more evidence that U.S. agencies sometimes have violated legal and administrative restrictions on domestic spying, and may add to the pressure to bolster laws that govern intelligence activities.