Former NSA exec says agency used ‘blanket’ surveillance in 2002 Olympics in Utah – Chicago Tribune

Former National Security Agency senior executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake revealed himself this week as the source for a lawsuit alleging the NSA conducted “blanket, indiscriminate surveillance” of Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In a declaration filed in discovery in the case in U.S. district court in Utah, Drake asserted the NSA, in coordination with the FBI, scooped up and stored the content of emails and text messages sent and received by anyone in the city and Olympic venues – including American citizens.

“The mantra was ‘just take it all,'” said Drake, 60, in a Thursday evening phone interview. Drake’s assertions contradict declarations filed in the case in March by former NSA director Michael Hayden and current NSA operations manager Wayne Murphy.

“The NSA has never … at any time conducted ‘mass’ or ‘blanket’ surveillance, interception, or analysis … of e-mail, text message, telephone, or other telecommunications in Salt Lake City or the vicinity of the 2002 Winter Olympic venues, whether during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games or otherwise,” Murphy stated.

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