The US' National Security Agency (NSA) not only spied on citizens' online and telephonic conversations for any possible terror threat, but officials have admitted to misusing the power to snoop-on their 'love interests'.
In a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, NSA Inspector General George Ellard admitted that since 2003, there have been 12 substantiated instances of intentional misuse of surveillance authorities, and 'SIGINT' or signals intelligence, in which employees snooped on their girlfriend, boyfriend or some kind of love interest.
According to Fox News, earlier reports claimed that the NSA employees indulged in such an activity regularly.
The letter reveals that one of the employees admitted to spying on his girlfriend's phone 'out of curiosity'.
It further states that another employee tracked nine different telephone numbers for 'female foreign nationals', without a valid foreign intelligence purpose between 1998 and 2003 and monitored their phone conversations.
The activity was busted when a female foreign national employed by the US government, who was having sexual relations with the offending employee, complained of her phone being tapped.
Grassley said that he appreciated Ellard's transparency over reporting the misuse of authority but stressed that the NSA should have a zero-tolerance policy toward abuse adding that robust oversight of the program must be completed to ensure that both national security and the Constitution are protected, the report added. (ANI)