A new report claims the National Security Agency is searching the contents of every email sent by an American to a foreign address. Charlie Savage of the New York Times reports intelligence officials say the agency searches “the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ email and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance.” NSA spokesperson Judith A. Emmel did not directly comment on the allegations, and noted the NSA’s activities are lawful and target “foreign powers and their agents, foreign organizations, foreign persons or international terrorists.”
According to the Times‘s unnamed sources, the NSA searches every email sent to a foreign address–regardless of country–for identifying keywords or other “selectors.” If these selectors are present, the emails are saved for access. Otherwise, the emails are reportedly deleted.
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