Pelosi: NSA report ‘extremely disturbing’

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said on Friday that a report that the National Security Agency broke privacy rules thousands of times per year is “extremely disturbing.”

She argued that under the law, the NSA should have reported the violations to Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court. 

“Congress must conduct rigorous oversight to ensure that all incidents of non-compliance are reported to the oversight committees and the FISA court in a timely and comprehensive manner, and that appropriate steps are taken to ensure violations are not repeated,” she said in the statement.

{mosads}Pelosi’s comment represents some of her harshest criticism of the NSA since leaks earlier this summer publicized the scope of the agency’s surveillance.

She voted against a House measure last month that would have curbed the NSA’s phone data collection program, but has called for greater transparency and expressed concern that there are insufficient privacy protections.

Late on Thursday, The Washington Post published an internal NSA audit showing that the agency repeatedly overstepped its legal authority in recent years.

Most of the infractions involved unauthorized spying on people in the United States. The violations were mostly unintended and often involved typographical errors, the newspaper reported.

In one incident, the NSA intercepted a “large number” of calls from Washington because of a programming error that confused the 202 area code for 20, the international code for Egypt.

The Washington Post reported that the NSA did not always reveal the violations to the FISA court, which is supposed to oversee the secret surveillance and enforce legal safeguards.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she hadn’t seen a copy of the audit until the newspaper showed it to her. 

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