The National Security Administration is currently under investigation for charges that it listened in on personal phone calls made by military personnel and other Americans living overseas, it has emerged.
Two former employees of the NSA say that staff monitored and shared access to these communications, even though the callers were not suspected of terrorist activities.
In fact, former U.S. Navy Arab linguist David Murfee Faulk told ABC News that staff often listened to intimate conversations between military officers and their spouses or partners in the U.S., sharing the contents of some of the racier calls with colleagues.
Senate intelligence committee chairman John D. Rockefeller IV, who is investigating the allegations, said that the accusations were "extremely disturbing."
"Any time there is an allegation regarding abuse of the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, it is a very serious matter," he explained.
In September 2007, the New York Times reported that the NSA said that it had stopped the practice of using wiretaps on Americans’ phones without first obtaining a warrant – a measure that had been introduced shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.