The Obama Administration sought unredacted intel on thousands of Americans during the 2016 election, including those in President Trump’s campaign and transition team, according to a new report.
“During his final year in office, President Obama’s team significantly expanded efforts to search National Security Agency intercepts for information about Americans, distributing thousands of intelligence reports across government with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the midst of a divisive 2016 presidential election,” reported Circa on Thursday. “The data, made available this week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the clearest evidence to date of how information accidentally collected by the NSA overseas about Americans was subsequently searched and disseminated after President Obama loosened privacy protections to make such sharing easier in 2011 in the name of national security. A court affirmed his order.”
The NSA is currently prohibited from spying directly on U.S. citizens. However, it is reported that “In all, government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept metadata, which include telephone numbers and email addresses.”
The activity increased by 27.5 percent over the prior year, according to the report, and “more than triple the 9,500 such searches that occurred in 2013, the first year such data was kept.”