NSA Acknowledges Violating Own Privacy Policies in Collecting Metadata From American E-Mails

Documents reportedly show evidence of incompetence, not intent


The National Security Agencyacknowledged that it repeatedly violated its own privacy guidelines in a now-defunct program to collect "to and from" data in American email, according to newly released documents that paint a picture of incompetence but offer no evidence that the agency intentionally misused its surveillance powers.

A judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, John D. Bates, said in an opinion whose date was redacted that there had been "systemic over collection" in the email program and that "those responsible for conducting oversight at the NSA had failed to do so effectively."