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The NSA Can't Search Its Own Employees' Email

Oh, the irony. A ProPublica FOIA request reveals the NSA lacks a central method to search employees' emails.

The NSA Can't Search Its Own Employees' Email

Big Brother doesn't have such a watchful eye over its own kind. What initially started as a Freedom of Information Act request to learn about the NSA's public relations effort led ProPublica to another story: that the agency lacks the technology to search its own employees' email. "There's no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately," the agency told ProPublica.

In responding to the FOIA request, the NSA, which has more than 30,000 among its ranks, said it could only search emails "person by person." Ironic, given recent news that the agency's surveillance scope is much broader than previously thought, able to monitor not just terror suspects but also their address book contacts, and the contacts of these contacts.

[Image: Flickr user John McStravick]