US asked that 1934 Americans' names be 'unmasked' in intel

US asked that 1934 Americans' names be 'unmasked' in intel”

Since the major terror attack in the United States on September 11, 2001, the NSA has been collecting data about the USA citizens phone calls.

Congress is deciding whether or not to reauthorize FISA Section 702 which gives the NSA the thumbs up to collect information on Americans as long as they are communicating with a foreign target.

The report also revealed that on one occasion in 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reviewed information about an American, whose data had been collected by the NSA under its surveillance programme.

The data is contained in an annual Statistical Transparency Report, which offers details on how the government employs certain national security powers given to it by Congress.

The report comes amid President Donald Trump's claim that the Obama White House acted inappropriately in asking intelligence analysts to disclose names.

Both Republican and Democratic members of the congressional intelligence committees have said so far they have found no evidence to support either allegation.

"The same technologies that are being used to connect us, to tie us together, to let you listen to this right now, are also being used to make records about your activity", Edward Snowden said during an interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

It was unclear what he meant at the time, but the statement may have been in reference to the information in the report that was produced Tuesday by his director of national intelligence.

Because the 151 million would include multiple calls made to or from the same phone numbers, the number of people whose records were collected would be much smaller, United States officials said.

The NSA has been gathering a vast quantity of telephone "metadata" - records of callers' and recipients' phone numbers and the times and durations of the calls - since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

They also noted the 151 million phone records were not all from unique numbers.

Last year, US intelligence agencies intercepted communications on 106,469 targets, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Under the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), orders with the tag "probable cause" issued on a yearly basis remained steady for the most part, with 1,559 orders issued by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) applying to an estimated 1,687 targets, 336 of whom are labeled "US persons".

Officials said in the report that US intelligence agencies had gone out of their way to make public more information about USA electronic eavesdropping.

"Back in 2004, a division of the NSA called the National Tactical Integration Office fitted a 62-foot diameter airship called the Hover Hammer with an eavesdropping device", reported the Intercept, adding that "The agency launched the three-engine airship at an airfield near Solomons Island, Maryland".

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