NSA has violated privacy rules thousands of times a year, according to a new report.
(Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The director of the National Security Agency says the agency collects data from social networks and other private databases to hunt terror suspects but is not using the information to build dossiers, or personal files, on Americans.
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander testified during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that not all social network searches are authorized by a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court, but the agency's actions are proper and audited internally.
Alexander called a recent New York Times report on the searches "inaccurate and wrong." The Times report did not specifically cite dossiers, but said the NSA was exploiting huge collections of personal data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans' social connections. The Times said the private data includes bank, flight, GPS location and voting records.