According to USA Today on Aug. 21, the declassification of three secret U.S. court documents and other classified materials was enacted by America's top intelligence official. As a result, a discovery has been made of how the NSA intercepted thousands of emails from Americans that had no connection to terrorist situations.
The top intelligence official would be the National Intelligence Director James Clapper who authorized the release on Wednesday and had been published on their Tumblr page. Intense public scrutiny in regards to internet surveillance pretty much triggered President Obama to move forward with the release of information in regards to US surveillance programs, but initially it was Edward Snowden that triggered the event due to him leaking information about secret intelligence gathering programs.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court discovered initially that in a three year period since 2011, intelligence communities had been acquiring around 56,000 pieces of internet data that had no connection to terrorism.
Former chief judge and current U.S. District Judge John Bates had come to believe that whatever was collected wasn't something that had expected it to be and that the "volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe".