(The Hosting News) – Recent leaked documents provided by Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA collects data from more ordinary U.S. citizens than that of foreign targets.
According to the documents given to The Washington Post, nine out of 10 intercepted conversations were not targets “but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.”
Information from the leaked documents revealed that between 2009 and 2012, there were 160,000 intercepted emails and instant messages and 7,900 documents from more than 11,000 online accounts.
The Post’s four month long investigation on the documents showed some of the collected information was relevant, though much of it was deemed useless by NSA analysts. The majority of the information included details about citizen’s everyday life such as their hopes and fears, religious conversions, heartbreak, and private photos.
The intercepted messages did help to capture Pakistan bomb builder Muhammad Tahir Shahzad in 2011 and Umar Patek, a suspect in a 2002 nightclub bombing in Bali.
Additional valuable information included revelations about a “secret overseas nuclear project, double-dealing by an ostensible ally, a military calamity that befell an unfriendly power, and the identities of aggressive intruders into U.S. computer networks.”
On Sunday the Obama administration released a statement defending the Agency, stating that officials filter out irrelevant information that is of no use to investigations, the New York Times reports.
“These reports simply discuss the kind of incidental interception of communications that we have always said takes place under Section 702,” said Robert Litt, general counsel to the director of national intelligence. “We target only valid foreign intelligence targets under that authority, and the most that you could conclude from these news reports is that each valid foreign intelligence target talks to an average of nine people.”