US to open probe into NSA leaks

An aerial view of the US National Security Agencyâ„¢s Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah, June 6, 2013.

Washington is likely to open a criminal probe into the leak of classified documents revealing a secret program to collect data from phone calls and Internet accounts of Americans.

According to law enforcement and security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Friday, the FBI and Justice Department are expecting an investigation into the leaks to the Guardian and the Washington Post.

The officials did not say whether the National Security Agency (NSA), mostly involved in the gathering of phone records of millions of Americans, submitted a complaint against the newspapers. However, they confirmed that due to the extent and sensitivity of the leaks, federal law may force authorities to open a probe.

The Guardian revealed on Thursday a top secret US court order that allows the NSA to collect data on millions of Americans who are customers of the major US phone company, Verizon.

According to the order, Verizon should Å“on a daily basis” give the NSA data, including phone numbers, location, and duration of all phone calls in its systems, both in the US and between the US and other countries.

On the same day, the Washington Post also reported that the NSA had direct access to Internet servers, saying their source, a career intelligence officer, was horrified of the capabilities of the systems used by the top US spy agency.

Internet giants like Apple and Facebook denied claims that they opened their doors to US spy agencies.

The new revelation comes as Obama administration has been already under fire for secretly obtaining the phone records of the Associated Press journalists as well as the emails and phone records of a Fox News Channel reporter.


This article originally appeared on: Press TV