Today on â€œThis Week,â€ Glenn Greenwald â€“ the reporter who broke the story about the National Security Agencyâ€™s surveillance programs â€“ claimed that those NSA programs allowed even low-level analysts to search the private emails and phone calls of Americans.
â€œThe NSA has trillions of telephone calls and emails in their databases that theyâ€™ve collected over the last several years,â€ Greenwald told ABC Newsâ€™ George Stephanopoulos. â€œAnd what these programs are, are very simple screens, like the ones that supermarket clerks or shipping and receiving clerks use, where all an analyst has to do is enter an email address or an IP address, and it does two things. Â It searches that database and lets them listen to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that youâ€™ve entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future.â€
Greenwald explained that while there are â€œlegal constraintsâ€ on surveillance that require approval by theÂ FISA court, these programs still allow analysts to search through data with little court approval or supervision.
â€œThere are legal constraints for how you can spy on Americans,â€ Greenwald said. â€œYou canâ€™t target them without going to the FISA court. But these systems allow analysts to listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents.â€
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