US Intelligence Makes Progress in Privacy Protection

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According to a report issued by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the US has enhanced the privacy and civil liberties protection in security activities.

WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) — The US Administration has strengthened privacy rules governing mass surveillance programs run by US intelligence agencies, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) said in a report released on Tuesday.

"As this report shows, the Intelligence Community has made significant progress implementing many reforms," the report said. “Over the past eighteen months, the United States has undertaken a comprehensive effort to examine and enhance the privacy and civil liberty protections embedded in our signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection activities.”

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The new rules limit “Intelligence Community elements’ ability to use signals intelligence collected in bulk to six specific purposes,” DNI said. That includes counterterrorism, cybersecurity, counterintelligence, anti-proliferation, countering transnational crime, and protecting officials and military personnel from the United States and allied nations.

The US Administration is also working with Congress to establish a mechanism “to give citizens of designated countries the right to seek judicial redress for intentional or willful disclosures of protected information, and for refusal to grant access or to rectify any errors in that information,” the report said.

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According to the report, the reforms followed guidance issued by US President Barack Obama last year after former government contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents exposing bulk data collection programs run by the National Security Agency.

The Snowden revelations drew criticism from human rights watchdogs, which said the programs undermine the privacy of US and citizens.

The Director of National Intelligence will implement further reforms and report on its progress in 2016, according to its report.

 

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