Samuel Case, FISM News
In the latest update in the ongoing National Security Agency (NSA) scandal, the intelligence agency’s inspector general, Robert Storch, said his office will be looking into allegations that the NSA unmasked and leaked the identity of Fox opinion host Tucker Carlson.
“The National Security Agency Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced that it is conducting a review related to recent allegations that the NSA improperly targeted the communications of a member of the U.S. news media,” a statement from Storch read. “The OIG is examining NSA’s compliance with applicable legal authorities and Agency policies and procedures regarding collection, analysis, reporting, and dissemination activities, including unmasking procedures, and whether any such actions were based upon improper considerations. If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider other issues that may arise during the review.”
FISM News reported last month that an internal NSA review was conducted over allegations by Carlson that the agency was monitoring his electronic communications. The NSA denied the allegation, but sources familiar with the review told The Record that Carlson’s name was unmasked and leaked. The sources denied, however, that Carlson was a target of the NSA.
Unmasking is when the intelligence community allows national security officials to see the names of Americans who are communicating with surveilled foreign individuals. Usually this is done to provide context to a surveilled conversation. Unmasked identities are only supposed to be shared with the specific inquirer and are never to become public. It’s possible Carlson was surveilled when attempting to set up an interview with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
“He’s obviously newsworthy. I’m an American citizen, I can interview anyone I want, and I plan to. But still, in this case, I decided to keep it quiet,” Carlson said about his plans to interview Putin. “I figured that any kind of publicity would rattle the Russians and make the interview less likely to happen. But the Biden administration found out anyway by reading my emails.”