On Friday, we noted that Senator Bernie Sanders had asked the NSA
if it spied on members of Congress. He was very explicit in how he defined "spying" such that the NSA couldn't legitimately deny it -- since the definition included collecting metadata on their calls -- something the NSA absolutely does. In response to press requests, it appears that the NSA has issued a statement
to a variety of publications
, basically admitting that of course it spies on Congress, because it collects everyone's
NSA’s authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such protections are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons. NSA is fully committed to transparency with Congress. Our interaction with Congress has been extensive both before and since the media disclosures began last June.
We are reviewing Senator Sanders’s letter now, and we will continue to work to ensure that all members of Congress, including Senator Sanders, have information about NSA’s mission, authorities, and programs to fully inform the discharge of their duties.
The key line: "Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons." Meaning, basically, that they have no privacy protections when it comes to the NSA collecting data.