'Biggest yet': Greenwald to publish names of Americans whom NSA is spying on
“One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’ Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists? What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted? Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer,” Mr. Greenwald told the UK’s Sunday Times.
Greenwald slammed the NSA for its incompetence in allowing Snowden to steal and download 1.7 million sensitive documents, which he believes is further evidence of the country’s inability to guarantee data security. He also lambasted the organization for failing to capture the former NSA contractor, who is now living in Russia, having sought asylum in the country.
“There is this genuinely menacing [spy] system and at the same time, [they] are really inept about how they operate it,” Greenwald said, Newsmax reported. “Not only was he out there under their noses downloading huge amounts of documents without being detracted, but to this day, they’re incapable of finding out what he took.”
Greenwald was contacted by Edward Snowden after the former Central Intelligence Agency employee downloaded numerous sensitive documents from the NSA, which showed how the organization had been spying on its citizens in the US. It was later revealed that the NSA had cast their net much further, which included spying on embassy’s around the globe and on world leaders.
Spying on US citizens is illegal in America according to the fourth amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. Initially the NSA claimed they were eavesdropping only on foreign targets.
In 2002, George W. Bush signed a presidential order, which allowed the NSA to monitor, without a warrant the international (and sometimes domestic) phone calls and e-mail messages of hundreds of thousands of citizens and legal residents in the USA. No warrants were ever obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Mr. Greenwald, who’s promoting his new book, ‘No Place to Hide,’ said the list will be published on The Intercept, the website he established after leaving The Guardian.