NSA staff used spy tools on spouses, ex-lovers: watchdog | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

NSA staff used spy tools on spouses, ex-lovers: watchdog

At least a dozen U.S. National Security Agency employees have been caught using secret government surveillance tools to spy on the emails or phone calls of their current or former spouses and lovers in the past decade, according to the intelligence agency’s internal watchdog.

The practice is known in intelligence world shorthand as “LOVEINT” and was disclosed by the NSA Office of the Inspector General in response to a request by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican Charles Grassley for a report on abuses of the NSA’s surveillance authority.

In one instance in 2005, a military member of the NSA queried six email addresses of a former American girlfriend - on the first day he obtained access to the data collection system. He later testified that “he wanted to practice on the system” and gained no information as a result of his queries.

In another instance, a foreign woman who was employed by the U.S. government suspected that her lover, an NSA civilian employee, was listening to her phone calls. She shared her suspicion with another government employee, who reported it.

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