The Telegraph, a British news agency, is reporting in an article published on Aug. 25, that employees at the NSA used the agency's technology to spy on spouses and lovers. The intelligence agency has already come under fire recently for spying on American citizens and America's allies.
The employees even gave the illegal eavesdropping a code name, "Love-int." The code name was derived from the .INT domain reserved for intergovernmental communications. This new revelation comes on the heels of reports last week that said the NSA had violated privacy rules at least 3,600 times over the last year.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate intelligence committee, said the NSA reported the violations to the intelligence committee, and called them "isolated cases" that have occurred about once a year for the last 10 years. Feinstein said the spying was not done inside the US, but happened when the targets of the spying were travelling overseas.
The NSA's chief compliance officer, John DeLong, has declared most of those cases to be errors, but admitted some were premeditated violations. "When we make mistakes, we detect, we correct and we report," Delong told the Telegraph.
Feinstein also attempted to downplay any allegations that the violations were intentional. "Clearly, any case of noncompliance is unacceptable, but these small numbers of cases do not change my view that NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place.When errors are identified, they are reported and corrected," she said.
Others are not so quick to excuse the eavesdropping and want more information from the NSA.
In an appearance this this morning on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said he wanted the NSA to brief Congress “from top to bottom” to explain the programs in place and help ensure appropriate oversight.
In newly released documents leaked to the Guardian newspaper by Snowden, it was revealed that the United States government paid millions of dollars to Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, and other internet tech companies to compensate them for their participation in the controversial spy program.
On Thursday the Guardian published new documents it says were received from Snowden which show the NSA spent millions of dollars making sure the biggest names on the Internet were kept in compliance with the program.
An October 2011 judgment from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court, which was declassified on Wednesday by the Obama administration, found that the NSA's inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign communications violated the Fourth Amendment.