THE UNITED STATES National Security Agency (NSA) has admitted more details about its snooping practices in a letter to a senator.
The NSA has replied to a letter from Senator Charles Grassley that pressed it on the scale of its unauthorised surveillance of US citizens and others.
Grassley, who was the recipient of a letter from NSA Inspector General George Ellard (PDF) said that enough is enough and insisted that the agency cease its abuse of authority.
"I appreciate the transparency that the Inspector General has provided to the American people. We shouldn't tolerate even one instance of misuse of this [programme]," he said.
"Robust oversight of the [programme] must be completed to ensure that both national security and the Constitution are protected."
Senator Grassley's letter, which was sent at the end of August, asked the NSA to report instances when its "personnel intentionally and willfully abused their surveillance authorities".
The senator said that the American public is tired of hearing about NSA surveillance and its abuses from anywhere but the NSA itself.
"The American people are questioning the NSA and the FISA court system," he said this summer. "Accountability for those who intentionally abused surveillance authorities and greater transparency can help rebuild that trust and ensure that both national security and the Constitution are protected."
Ellard's letter said that there have been 12 incidents of unauthorised surveillance at the NSA and that these included people performing lookups on their girlfriends. In one instance an employee retiring from the agency was given a final polygraph test during which he admitted looking into the life of his foreign national girlfriend. µ