On Friday, The Guardian published the latest iteration of leaks from documents supplied by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, now temporarily living in Russia.

The snippet of an undated document shows that the NSA has the ability to access its sizeable databases of Americans’ e-mails and phone calls without a warrant. However, the document says that NSA analysts are forbidden from exercising this ability until “effective oversight” is in place. It isn’t clear when or if that oversight came into effect. “While the FAA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act Section] 702 minimization procedures approved on 3 October 2011 now allow for use of certain United States person names and identifiers as query terms when reviewing collected FAA 702 data,” the excerpt states, “analysts may NOT/NOT [not repeat not] implement any USP [US persons] queries until an effective oversight process has been developed by NSA and agreed to by DOJ/ODNI [Department of Justice/Office of the Director of National Intelligence].”     

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