The National Security Agency has claimed that it doesn't intentionally gather emails sent between U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, but an unnamed tipster claimed today that it has no way of actually filtering out domestic emails.

"There is physically no way to ensure that you're only gathering U.S. person emails," a telecom executive told Foreign Policy.

"The system doesn't make any distinction about the nationality," he added.

So while the NSA claims that it doesn't intentionally target Americans, it seems they may be coincidentally reading our emails anyway.

Loose lips leak lots

The loose-lipped executive in question, though unnamed, "implemented U.S. government orders to collect data on foreign targets," according to Foreign Policy.

Previous leaks suggest that the NSA has methods of distinguishing between domestic and foreign communications after the emails have been gathered, but that it can still keep those emails on record.

"They do know that U.S. person data will get through. They admit that," another unnamed source, a former intelligence official, told Foreign Policy. "They don't listen to everything and process everything…sometimes they may keep it and look at it later."

The Obama administration initially issued statements claiming that "with respect to the internet and emails, [the NSA's Prism program] does not apply to U.S. citizens, and it does not apply to people living in the United States."

Given what's come to light since then, though, it seems that may not truly be the case.

  • Who else is in cahoots with the NSA? Not Google, if you'll believe it.

Via The Verge