The U.S. National Security Agency will no longer sift through emails, texts and other internet communications that mention targets of surveillance.
The change, which the NSA announced on Friday, stops a controversial tactic that critics said violated U.S. citizens’ privacy rights.
The practice involved flagging communications where a foreign surveillance target was mentioned, even if that target wasn’t involved in the conversation. Friday’s announcement means the NSA will stop collecting this data.
“Instead, this surveillance will now be limited to only those communications that are directly ‘to’ or ‘from’ a foreign intelligence target,” the NSA said in a statement.
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