U.S. senators say CIA data collection has been hidden from public, lawmakers

11 February 2022

REUTERS — Two U.S. senators claim the Central Intelligence Agency is running a secret program aimed at scooping up massive amounts of data and has been shielding it from Congressional oversight, they said in a letter released on Friday.

In the letter dated April 13, 2021, Senators Ron Wyden, of Oregon, and Martin Heinrich, of New Mexico, warned top U.S. intelligence officials that an unspecified “bulk collection” program was operating “entirely outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection.”

The Democrats said that even lawmakers on the Senate’s Intelligence Committee were unaware of the nature of the program until the dissemination of a secret report by U.S. intelligence oversight authorities in March of 2021.

The letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns was partially redacted and lacked several key details, notably the nature of the CIA program and the kind of data it collected. It referred instead to a cache of newly declassified documents from the U.S. intelligence watchdog known as the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. […]

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