Privacy

UK transparency report: U.S. spy program targeted 89,000 foreigners

June 30, 2014

The U.S. targeted 89,000 foreigners or groups in its surveillance efforts in 2013, according to a transparency report released Friday by the Office of the Director of Intelligence in the UK.

Incredibly, the government got approval to spy on the targets from a single Section 702 order obtained through the FISA Court last year, raising the specter of broader spying than the report indicates and potential surveillance of American citizens. In comparison, 1,767 FISA orders—based on probable cause—in 20133 yielded 1,144 targets.

The report notes a target “could be an individual person, a group, or an organization composed of multiple individuals or a foreign power.

The report is based on information that the Director of National Intelligence declassified in the wake of the Snowden revelations about widespread National Security Agency spying on U.S. citizens, as well as foreign allies and foes.

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