How the National Security Agency spied on journalists in the United States in the name of national security.
The documents, which were published by the conservative website Breitbart News, reveal the Obama administration’s “secret program to monitor the communications of journalists in major U.K. newspapers and broadcast outlets.”
According to the documents, the program, dubbed “Project Muckrock,” was developed in 2010 and funded by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the NSA’s predecessor agency, and the U-2 spy plane program.
The document reveals that, between 2009 and 2012, the ONI “received and reviewed thousands of pages of documents from the Associated Press (AP), the New York Times, and other news organizations that contained confidential information regarding journalists, including the identities of journalists and sources.”
According in the documents published by Breitbart News: In September 2009, the NSA received and reviewed a memo from then-Naval Intelligence Director General James Clapper about “Project MOVE.”
The memo, which was sent to a contractor for a U.N. program that monitored terrorist communications, said, “we would like to continue working with ONI, the National Counterterrorism Center, and others on developing a new strategy to target journalists and their sources, particularly those who report directly to the U,S.
The NSA memo went on to explain, “In general, we are interested in information relating to sources and methods of communication, and we are concerned that sources may be reluctant to share this information.”
The documents also revealed that, in 2009, ONI and the NSA agreed to “review existing efforts to use surveillance programs against journalists and news outlets.”
A 2010 memo to ONI Director General John Poindexter stated, “The NSA has recently developed an innovative and efficient way of surveilling journalists, and is interested in working with journalists on developing it.”
The document was forwarded to Clapper in June 2010.
In February 2010, the then-Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John R. Clapper Jr. briefed the media on the program.
In response to the briefing, Clapper said, “[t]here is no doubt that journalists in our society are our most vulnerable sources.
There is an inherent danger that journalists may become the targets of a foreign intelligence program that could be used to spy on them.”
According the documents: In November 2010, ONIs intelligence director met with journalists at the Washington Post and the Guardian and “asked them to submit to surveillance on behalf of the U.”
The journalists “accepted and agreed to the requirement that they provide the government with the name, phone number, email address, and any other information they have about a source of their news.”
On March 16, 2011, ON I Director General Thomas Shannon met with reporters at the Guardian in London and said, “‘We have been monitoring journalists for the last three years, and it’s not an accident that they are the people most in danger.'”
The journalists were “subjected to surveillance, including searches of their phones and computers.”
The Intercept obtained a copy of the 2010 briefing document from ONI’s inspector general.
In March 2011, the Guardian “published a series of articles about the NSA surveillance of journalists.
The Intercept and other journalists followed up with the government in an effort to learn more about how journalists were surveilled.
We also obtained documents from an investigation conducted by the House Intelligence Committee.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee, in December 2011, released a report that outlined “some of the NSA programs” that the intelligence community was “committed to monitoring” journalists.
“The Obama administration, in its annual report to Congress, described these activities as ‘national security intelligence activities,'” the report stated.
“In March, the U