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CIA admits it spied on Senate computers

Big Brother takes a look in the mirror.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on Jul 31, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 8:44 pm CDT

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spied on a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee last year, the New York Times reports.

The surveillance activity was confirmed in a new CIA report, which criticizes the agency for “acting inappropriately”—acts that would likely be considered criminal in other circumstances.

The CIA had suspected that the committee’s investigators had “improperly obtained” an internal CIA report on “enhanced interrogation” programs the agency had deployed until 2006. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) first discovered the spying when CIA Director John O. Brennan personally confronted her with accusations that she’d improperly accessed CIA documents. Perhaps inadvertently, he’d revealed that he had access to Senate systems.

The Senate report concluded that the CIA’s interrogation programs produced “little valuable intelligence,” McClatchy reports.

Brennan apologized for the agency’s actions to two senior members of the committee. An “internal accountability board” led by former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana will further review the incidents.

The CIA’s actions were prompted by Senate aids working on a report on the use of “enhanced interrogation”—techniques often dubbed “torture” by critics, including many legal scholars—by American intelligence agencies. The study is currently classified and under review by the White House

“When the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong,” Brennan said in March when the news broke, the Times reports.

H/T New York Times | Photo via CIA/Wikipedia (PD)

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*First Published: Jul 31, 2014, 1:29 pm CDT