The National Security Agency (NSA) has admitted some of their officers misused the agency’s massive spying powers to keep tabs on their love interests, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday night.
NSA employees reportedly dubbed the practice with its very own spy label: LOVEINT.
U.S. officials said some of the violations included overseas communications, but claimed the practice was “very rare,” according to the WSJ.
Officials reportedly said all employees involved were appropriately disciplined. The incidents were often self-reported, revealed while the officers took polygraph tests during routine security clearance renewals, according to the WSJ.
“NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities,” the NSA said in a statement Friday.
The revelations come in the wake of learning this week that the NSA had violated privacy rules on thousands of occasions. NSA Chief Compliance Officer John DeLong had stressed earlier most violations were unintentional.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told the WSJ that the NSA admitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee policies were violated in a set of “isolated incidents.”
“Clearly, any case of noncompliance is unacceptable, but these small numbers of cases do not change my view that NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Feinstein told the WSJ. “When errors are identified, they are reported and corrected.”
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