NSA to Sen. Sanders: We Can't Legally Tell You if We Spied on You

October 23, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

The National Security Agency won’t deny that it may be spying on members of Congress, informing Sen. Bernie Sanders that the agency can’t tell him whether it snooped on his metadata because searching to find out would be illegal.

The Vermont Independent sent a letter earlier this month to NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander asking, “Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials?”

“‘Spying’ would include gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business,” Sen. Sanders specified.

The following day, the NSA issued a preliminary response to media in which the agency did not deny that it may be spying on members of Congress, saying they “have the same privacy protections as all US persons.”

In his letter of response to Sen. Sanders dated Jan. 10 and released Tuesday, Alexander continues to leave open the possibility that the NSA is spying on American elected officials, writing, “We firmly believe… that the telephony metadata collection program is lawful.”