10:41 GMT05 August 2021
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    According to declassified top secret documents released by the CIA, the agency’s accountability board found the intelligence agency did not illegally spy on Senate staffers conducting an investigation into the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.


    WASHINGTON, January 15 (Sputnik) — The CIA’s accountability board found the intelligence agency did not illegally spy on Senate staffers conducting an investigation into the agency’s enhanced interrogation techniques as they were informed of possible monitoring, according to declassified top secret documents released by the CIA on Wednesday.

    “SSCI [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] were, or should have been aware of, the CIA’s monitoring of RDINet for security purposes,” the accountability board concluded, referring to the special rendition, detention and interrogation classified computer system senate staffers used to access files related the CIA’s torture program.

    The CIA’s internal review found senate staffers may have gained access to classified material they were not authorized to read, prompting the agency at times to conduct an investigation into security breaches.

    “CIA had previously accessed [redacted] collected from the SSCI side of RDINet when security concerns arose,” the CIA said, pointing out that when users of the network log-in they clicked OK to a message: “Your use of this system may be monitored and you have no expectation of privacy.”

    The agency’s accountability board said monitoring is standard procedure on classified networks as a security and counterintelligence measure. The report did find the agency “inappropriately” viewed five emails that did not discuss “substantive matters in content” and was the result of “communication failure.”

    The CIA’s accountability board report follows accusations by Senator Diane Feinstein, chair of the SSCI, that the CIA illegally spied on senate staffers investigating the agency’s torture practices. Feinstein’s assertion was based on a July 2014 report by the CIA’s inspector general, which found CIA officers illegally read emails of senate staffers and sent a criminal request to the Justice Department relying on incorrect information.

    In December, the SSCI released a torture report that documented enhanced interrogation techniques used by CIA agents authorized by top-level US government officials in the period after September 11, 2001. Methods of interrogation described in the report include waterboarding, mock executions, prolonged sleep deprivation, threat of sexual abuse, threats against family and others.

    Over a period of five years, the Senate Intelligence Committee compiled information in a specially designated and secure CIA site in Virginia that led to the report. The 500 page version released to the public was thoroughly redacted by the White House, the US intelligence community, and the Senate Intelligence Committee.



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