NYT: US military intelligence buys surveillance databases without court decision

The US Department of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) buys without a court warrant databases that track Americans’ movements and citizens of other countries. This is stated in an article published on Saturday by The New York Times.

The publication journalists got acquainted with the materials that the DIA staff provided to Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat from Oregon) upon request.

The documents show that in five investigations over the past two and a half years, officers of the department tracked Americans’ movements using databases purchased from certain brokers. They are compiled for commercial purposes by analyzing information collected by smartphone applications.

The publication notes that “DIA appears to be buying and using the location of [people] for the most part to conduct investigations of foreigners abroad.” It is stated that one of the tasks of the administration is to “identify threats to American forces deployed around the world.”

According to the material, according to American law, the US authorities must first obtain a court order to request information from telecommunications companies that would allow them to establish Americans’ movements. According to the newspaper, in this case, RUMO uses a loophole in the law on the protection of personal information. The department staff proceeds from the fact that they do not need court permission to purchase such databases.

According to the publication, Wyden intends to seek stricter standards in this area. As noted in the material, he considers it unacceptable that US citizens’ data can be purchased.

The material does not specify which the DIA is conducting investigations concerning citizens of other states. It is also not explained which countries are in question.

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Author: Oleg Ceban
Graduated from University of Oxford. Previously, he worked in various diferent news media. Currently, it is a columnist of the world news section in the Free News editors.
Function: Editor
Oleg Ceban

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