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NSA releases first statistics on surveillance sweep

Published on Jun 28, 2014 6:12 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US National Security Agency released its first "transparency report" Friday, as part of an effort to quell the firestorm over reports of its massive data collection efforts.

The NSA report said that in 2013, it obtained fewer than 2,000 orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

That included 1,767 orders based on "probable cause" for an investigation, and 131 orders allowing the agency to collect incoming and outgoing phone numbers using a so-called "pen register" or "trap and trace." The agency said it obtained just one order using Section 702 of the FISA intelligence law, which facilitates gathering foreign intelligence data on non-American people, groups or organizations outside the United States.

But the number of "targets," which could be persons or organizations, was 89,138 last year.

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