The nations’ top intelligence official is declassifying three secret U.S. court opinions showing how the National Security Agency scooped up as many as 56,000 emails annually over three years and other communications by Americans with no connection to terrorism, how it revealed the error to the court and changed how it gathered Internet communications.
Charles Johnson from Litte Green Footballs put this story into perspective:
What’s the source for this breaking news? Edward Snowden, or another leaker?
Nope, the source is the NSA, and they reported this collection to the FISA court in 2011, after which the court ordered them to find ways to limit data collection of this type. No whistleblowers needed, and action taken.
But what about those large numbers? 56,000 emails per year? That sounds really really really bad, doesn’t it?
Except when you consider that the total number of emails sent per year is about 90 trillion.