US secret service launches investigation into espionage allegations in news media

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Fox personality Tucker Carlson speaks at the Business Insider Ignition: Future of Media 2017 conference in New York, USA, 30 November 2017. REUTERS / Lucas Jackson / File Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (Reuters) – The National Security Agency (NSA) internal watchdog said Tuesday it was launching an investigation into allegations that the agency was inappropriately spying on a member of the US news media.

The Inspector General’s office failed to identify the reporter or media company at the core of its review, but the development comes a few months after Fox News conservative presenter Tucker Carlson claimed he heard from a whistleblower who told him the NSA was going overseeing his communications in a conspiracy to leak and force him off the air.

At the end of June, the NSA took the unusual step of publicly denying these allegations.

“This allegation is untrue. Tucker Carlson was never an intelligence target of the agency and the NSA never had any plans to take its program out of the air,” the NSA said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Inspector General Robert Storch said in a written statement that his office is “reviewing the NSA’s compliance with applicable legal authorities and the agency’s policies and procedures regarding collection, analysis, reporting and dissemination activities, including unmasking procedures, and for such actions were based on inappropriate considerations “. . “

The Inspector General’s Office declined to comment further.

The Wall Street Journal quoted an unidentified person who said the review concerned Carlson.

Fox News, a unit of Fox Corp (FOXA.O), is “pleased” to learn that the suspected surveillance “is now being independently investigated,” a spokesman said. “As we said earlier, it is totally unacceptable for the NSA to expose Tucker Carlson or any journalist trying to get a newsworthy interview.”

An NSA spokesman said the agency was “still fully committed to the strict and independent oversight of the NSA inspector general’s office.”

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, David Shepardson, and Chris Bing; Adaptation by Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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