NSA and Intelligence Community turn to Tumblr -- weird but true

In light of top-secret document leaks that show the U.S. government spied on people, the country's Director of National Intelligence launches a Tumblr blog for greater transparency.

U.S. Intelligence Community seal.

Tumblr has a new blogger within its sphere: The U.S. Intelligence Community.

That's right, the umbrella organization that oversees government intelligence agencies, like the National Security Agency, the CIA, and FBI, has started to blog. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper penned a post on Wednesday making the announcement.

"The goal of IC ON THE RECORD is to provide the public with direct access to factual information related to the lawful foreign surveillance activities carried out by the Intelligence Community," Clapper wrote. "In addition to comprehensive explanations of the authorities under which the Intelligence Community conducts foreign surveillance, the site will address methods of collection, use of collected data, and oversight and compliance."

The blog is titled "IC on the Record" and has the unfortunate URL of "icontherecord." The site is still relatively spare and has a handful of posts about declassified documents, speeches, testimony, and more.

The Intelligence Community has been under fire the last few months after whistle-blower Edward Snowden leaked top-secret documents to the media, which revealed the NSA's surveillance practices. With this leak, the public discovered that the government had been spying on people via metadata from Internet companies and cellular records.

The NSA and the Obama administration have said the goals of the surveillance programs were to track down foreign terrorists and terrorist threats. But additional documents have surfaced recently that show the NSA created a "secret backdoor" so its massive databases could be searched for the contents of U.S. citizens' confidential phone calls and e-mail messages without a warrant.

As more details have been revealed via the leaked documents, the NSA has maintained its central goal is to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens.

"The highest priority of the Intelligence Community is to work within the constraints of law to collect, analyze and understand information related to potential threats to our national security," Clapper wrote in Wednesday's blog post. "As we work to deliver the most insightful intelligence possible, we must and will, without compromise, uphold the rule of law and respect the civil liberties and privacy of every American."

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About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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