NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY

2010s

2010 - 2012

 

Materials presented in chronological order.

Savage, Charlie, and James Risen. "Federal Judge Finds N.S.A. Wiretaps Were Illegal." New York Times, 31 Mar. 2010. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 31 March 2010, Judge Vaughn R. Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, ruled that NSA's "program of surveillance without warrants was illegal." The judge "ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004." Judge Walker "rejected the Justice Department's claim ... that the charity's lawsuit should be dismissed without a ruling on the merits because allowing it to go forward could reveal state secrets."

Shane, Scott. "Former N.S.A. Official Is Charged in Leaks Case." New York Times, 15 Apr. 2010. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 15 April 2010 the Justice Department announced that a grand jury in Baltimore has indicted former senior NSA official Thomas A. Drake "on charges of providing classified information to a newspaper reporter in hundreds of e-mail messages in 2006 and 2007." Drake "was also accused of obstructing justice by shredding documents, deleting computer records and lying to investigators who were looking into the reporter's sources."

The indictment "does not name either the reporter or the newspaper that received the information. But the description applies to articles written by Siobhan Gorman, then a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, that examined in detail the failings of several major N.S.A. programs, costing billions of dollars, using computers to collect and sort electronic intelligence."

See also, Greg Miller, Spencer S. Hsu, and Ellen Nakashima, "Former NSA Official Allegedly Leaked Material to Media," Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2010, A1; Ellen Nakashima, "Former NSA Executive Thomas A. Drake May Pay High Price for Media Leak," Washington Post, 14 Jul. 2010, C1; and Jane Mayer, "The Secret Sharer: Is Thomas Drake an Enemy of the State?" The New Yorker, 23 May 2011.

Jackson, William. "Does NSA's Cybersecurity Mission Extend to the Dot-com Domain?" Federal Computer Week, 30 Aug. 2010. [http://fcw.com]

"Arguments can be made whether or not NSA should have the job of protecting our civilian critical infrastructure. Many security experts and civil libertarians would argue that this job should not be given to an agency cloaked in secrecy and with a record of surveillance abuses. But absent another agency with the authority and responsibility to do the job, we can expect DOD and NSA to become the de facto defenders of our networks."

Gertz, Bill. "Inside the Ring: Counterspies Hunt Russian Mole Inside National Security Agency." Washington Times, 1 Dec, 2010. [http://www.washingtontimes.com]

According to a former intelligence official close to the agency, NSA "is conducting a counterintelligence probe at its ... headquarters in a ... hunt for a Russian agent.... The former official said the probe grew out of the case of 10 Russian 'illegals' ... who were uncovered last summer and sent back to Moscow.... NSA counterintelligence officials suspect that members of the illegals network were used by Russia's SVR spy agency to communicate with one or more agents inside the agency."

Nakashima, Ellen, and Jerry Markon. "NSA Leak Trial Exposes Dilemma for Justice Department." Washington Post, 10 Jun. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 10 June 2011, former NSA official Thomas A. Drake pled "guilty to a single misdemeanor of misusing a government computer to provide information to an unauthorized person. Drake is expected to serve no prison time." The goverment's case against Drake "for unlawfully retaining classified information" fell apart on 3 June when U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett "ruled that the prosecution could not shield from public disclosure classified information it wanted to present as evidence." Associated Press, "Former NSA Senior Official Who Leaked Secrets to a Reporter Sentenced to 1 Year of Probation," 15 Jul. 2011, report's Drake's sentence of "a year’s probation and community service."

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