And… yet another leak of NSA surveillance capabilities to The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald (who damn well better get a Pulitzer Prize for this) suggests pretty strongly that the NSA has directly lied, multiple times, when asked to disclose how many people it had spied on in the US. As we’ve noted for a while, the NSA has claimed that it was not possible to determine how many Americans it had data on. In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had stated:
While it is not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed…
An NSA spokesperson also said that it was not possible to figure that out:
Judith Emmel, an NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian in a response to the latest disclosures: “NSA has consistently reported – including to Congress – that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case.”
But, as Greenwald reveals, the NSA appears to have a program, called Boundless Informant (quite a name, huh) that does exactly that.
The leaks are coming fast and furious at this point, and I doubt they’re going to stop soon.