NSA internal audit details thousands of unlawful actions

The Washington Post, along with U.K.-based news source The Guardian, have been steadily publishing internal documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the embattled former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor now at the heart of a diplomatic spat between Russia and the United States. Earlier this week, the Post pushed the debate over secret government surveillance programs into uncharted waters as it revealed a top-secret memo detailing thousands of improprieties and outright unlawful acts carried out by the NSA's army of digital spies.

According to the document, the NSA's supposed safeguards have not completely prevented errors, mistakes or, in some cases, potential abuse. One episode suggested that the government agency willfully withheld information from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court regarding a new, more automated data diffusion program. Ultimately, when forced to disclose details of that program, the court ruled that it was unconstitutional and demanded changes.

Other incidents were more innocuous. These include times when information was improperly accessed or innocent people were mistakenly targeted. However, the sheer number of improper uses of the massive NSA powers is what is most troubling about the report. The Post indicated that government employees broke surveillance laws at least 2,700 times during a one-year period. Worse yet is the fact that the NSA audit only includes several facilities, not the agency's entire network.

"When N.S.A. makes a mistake in carrying out its foreign intelligence mission, the agency reports the issue internally and to federal overseers — and aggressively gets to the bottom of it," an NSA spokesperson told the newspaper in a statement.

These revelations prove that President Barack Obama and members of both political parties have misled the American people over the supposed "safeguards" built into the system. Those who wish to learn more about protecting themselves financially and economically should continue to explore the Great Wealth Strategies website, which includes information on cash flow real estate and other ways to secure independent sources of income.