Screw-ups big and small lead to citizens' info getting sucked into NSA databases.
A report published Thursday evening in The Washington Post highlights top-secret documents that show the National Security Agency (NSA) collects unauthorized surveillance on Americans thousands of times per year.
The documents are a May 2012 audit that the NSA performed on its operations. Most of the privacy violations were unintended and resulted from things like typographical errors by analysts and programming errors. Some were much more serious, including one that involved unauthorized use of data on more than 3,000 US citizens. In that incident from February 2012, thousands of files containing telephone records were retained despite the fact that the NSA was ordered to destroy them by a surveillance court.
Overall, the audit found 2,776 "incidents" in which the NSA broke its own privacy rules while collecting information. The report breaks out data about the first quarter of 2012 in which 195 violations occurred.
For the rest of the story: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/newly-published-leaks-show-nsas-thousands-of-privacy-violations/