Who’s Watching the Watchmen? NSA Employees Caught Spying on Partners

NSA spies have been caught red-handed snooping on their lovers’ phones and emails

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Michael Dalder / Reuters

A security camera is pictured within the monitoring base of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in Bad Aibling, south of Munich, August 13, 2013

Whenever they’re not combing through troves of metadata snatched from fiber optic cables across the globe, National Security Agency analysts are apparently tapping the phones of their significant others and keeping tabs on their love interests, or “loveint” in NSA speak.

In a letter posted to Senator Charles Grassley on Sept. 11, the NSA’s Inspector General George Ellard provided a dozen “substantial instances” when agency employees were caught gathering intelligence on spouses, partners or flames.

(MORE: Greenwald Claims NSA Spied on Mexican, Brazilian Presidents)

According to the letter, one NSA employee in 2011 admitted to tapping his own home and girlfriend’s phone in 2004 “out of curiosity,” while another member of the agency was caught illegally reading the emails of six people, including his girlfriend, on the first day he was given the green light to use eavesdropping technology.


I thought that loveint was a subpart of humint. Some geeks in nsa become smart, I hope so because the inevitable Evesdropping is not a game. Because I guess many people in the world feel betrayed by their us partner at the moment, brazilian important women, european important women, all the un. us joint intel should poke back all that damage.


So, there were 12 incidents since 2003. The agency has tens of thousands of employees and they looked at a 10 year period finding 12 violations. That's what- 0.0000000001% improper behavior compared to legal behavior? Wow.....what a scandal.

I wonder if you look at 10 years of Google, Facebook, or a cell phone provider how many times employees have illegally accessed to accounts of boyfriends, girlfriends, and family? I'm willing to bet Zuckerberg's fortune that it has been a LOT more than these incidents at the agency.

I think it's also important to note that all of the people who committed these incidents have been fired or left. I bet the violators at Google, Facebook, and the internet providers haven't been fired.