Americas

Trump slams NSA for collecting unauthorized phone data

‘Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!,’ Trump says

04.07.2018
Trump slams NSA for collecting unauthorized phone data

By Safvan Allahverdi

WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed as a “disgrace” the National Security Agency (NSA) violation of Americans’ privacy through unauthorized collection of phone data.

"Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities," Trump said in a tweet. "Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!"

The NSA announced last month that it will delete improperly collected phone calls and text message data that have been collected since 2015.

Blaming the "technical irregularities" for the unauthorized collection, the agency said it had addressed its processes to fix the problem that allowed the records to be collected in the first place.

It remains unknown whether there is any connection between the NSA's deletion of communications records and the probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Trump’s collusion with Russia during his presidential run in 2016. Trump refers to the investigation as a "witch hunt".

The agency's warrantless surveillance program has been a constant source of concern for civil liberties advocates since former contractor Edward Snowden disclosed damning aspects of it in 2013, prompting outrage in the U.S. and abroad.

Former President Barack Obama was forced to rein in the most controversial aspects of the program amid widespread controversy.

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