WASHINGTON: A US government agency on Wednesday defended the US National Security Agency’s surveillance programme, which includes spying on foreign banks, political parties and government officials.
Pakistan is also on the list of the countries the NSA is allowed to spy on.
The US Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board observed that the programme had allowed the government to collect a greater range of foreign intelligence “quickly and effectively.”
It endorsed the controversial collection of Internet data as not only legal but also effective.
“The programme has led the government to identify previously unknown individuals who are involved in international terrorism,” the agency noted.
“It has played a key role in discovering and disrupting specific terrorist plots aimed at the United States and other countries.”
Also read:Reform on some but not all NSA spying
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved a broad certification for spying abroad in 2010, which included a list of 193 countries to concentrate on, the Post reported.
The memo leaked to the Post authorises the NSA to spy on all governments, including those recognised by the United States.
International organisations marked for spying include the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, International Atomic Energy Agency, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Islamic Development Bank, African Union and the League of Arab States.
The approval permitted the NSA to intercept communications through US companies related to targets on the list, the Post reported.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2014