Senators Reveal CIA Bulk Collection Spy Program Operated Without Statutory Controls or Oversight

February 11, 2022

In a press release Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) revealed a secret mass information collection program by the CIA is run “entirely outside the statutory framework that Congress and the public believe govern this collection, and without any of the judicial, congressional or even executive branch oversight”. The information collected under the program is so far unknown, but the CIA used it to monitor people in the United States and abroad. The press release marks the release of previously classified documents from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) investigating the CIA’s surveillance activities under Executive Order 12333. The documents include a letter from the Senators urging declassification of PCLOB materials, a PCLOB report on CIA financial surveillance, and part of a report on bulk data collection. EPIC previously urged the Oversight Board to conduct a review of 12333. In 2015, EPIC successfully filed suit against the CIA and obtained documents revealing how CIA employees illegally monitored the work of Senate staff.

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