Vast majority of docs collected by NSA come from ordinary internet users, not legal targets

A massive report from The Washington Post this weekend delves into tens of thousands of communications and documents collected by the NSA’s wide-reaching surveillance programs. The first-of-its-kind report reveals that as many as nine out of ten web users caught in the NSA’s surveillance efforts are not the persons targeted by the agency.

Private and personal emails, instant messages, photos, and documents from these digital bystanders — many of whom appear to be spuriously connected to the target — remain in the agency’s servers long after they’ve been deemed irrelevant. According to the Post, a large portion are US citizens or residents, with almost half of all communications containing information that the NSA connected to Americans.

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