The NSA has announced plans to stop all forms of surveillance on American citizens, vindicating President Trump who was victim of illegal wiretapping by the agency.
Reuters announced on Friday that the agency no longer have the ability to wiretap without a warrant the digital communications of Americans who mention a foreign intelligence target.
The decision to stop the once-secret activity, which collected messages sent to or received from people believed to be living overseas, arrives as a sudden and unexpected triumph for privacy advocates who were long critical of the program, which U.S. officials had defended as both lawful and important to national security.
The halt is among the most substantial changes to U.S. surveillance policy in years and comes as issues of digital privacy remain contentious across the globe following the 2013 disclosures of broad NSA spying activity by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
“NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target,” the agency said in a statement.
“Instead, NSA will limit such collection to internet communications that are sent directly to or from a foreign target.”
NSA also said it would delete the “vast majority” of internet data collected under the surveillance program “to further protect the privacy of U.S. person communications.”