Former NSA employee alleges illegal spying

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006 Russell "Russ" Tice, a former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) who specialized in "special access programs," has admitted to ABC News that he was one of the sources the New York Times used in its December 2005 investigation into the NSA's spy activity against Americans.

He alleges that some of NSA and the Department of Defense's secret intelligence operations were run in violation of the law and has agreed to testify before Congress about their legality.

President Bush admitted ordering the NSA to monitor a small number of Americans without the use of warrants, but Tice believes it goes beyond that. If the full extent of NSA programs is being taken advantage of, he said, the number of Americans under surveillance could be in the millions. The ability exists, Tice stated, to track every domestic and international phone call as they are switched through centers and to monitor them for key words.

"If you picked the word 'jihad' out of a conversation, the technology exists that you focus in on that conversation, and you pull it out of the system for processing."

Tice's security clearance was revoked in May of 2005 based upon "psychological concerns" and the NSA later dismissed him.

The New York Times has not confirmed that Tice was one of their sources, nor have they revealed the identities of any unnamed sources cited in their article.


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