By NOMAAN MERCHANTThe Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA has a secret, undisclosed data repository that includes information collected about Americans, two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Thursday. While neither the agency nor lawmakers would disclose specifics about the data, the senators alleged the CIA had long hidden details about the program from the public and Congress.
Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico sent a letter to top intelligence officials calling for more details about the program to be declassified. Large parts of the letter, which was sent in April 2021 and declassified Thursday, and documents released by the CIA were blacked out. Wyden and Heinrich said the program operated “outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection.”
There have long been concerns about what information the intelligence community collects domestically, driven in part by previous violations of Americans’ civil liberties. The CIA and National Security Agency have a foreign mission and are generally barred from investigating Americans or U.S. businesses. But the spy agencies’ sprawling collection of foreign communications often snares Americans’ messages and data incidentally.
Wyden and Heinrich: Newly Declassified Documents Reveal Previously Secret CIA Bulk Collection, Problems With CIA Handling of Americans’ Information
Senators Call for Critically Needed Transparency About CIA Bulk Collection; Documents Declassified at Wyden and Heinrich’s Request
BREAKING: Newly declassified documents reveal that the CIA has been secretly conducting massive surveillance programs that capture Americans’ private information.— ACLU (@ACLU) February 11, 2022