The National Security Agency (NSA) Inspector General announced on Tuesday that it will be conducting a review into recent allegations that the agency targeted the communications of a member of the media after Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that the NSA was spying on him.
In a statement, the Inspector General said:
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. 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.
Robert P. Storch Inspector General
Although Carlson is not mentioned specifically by name in the statement, according to The Wall Street Journal, “[a] person familiar with the matter said the review concerns Mr. Carlson.”
The NSA provided The Daily Wire with a statement from an NSA spokesperson, which said that the “NSA remains fully committed to the rigorous and independent oversight provided by the NSA Inspector General’s office. The OIG plays a critical role in our Agency’s mission by overseeing the activities of NSA/CSS and providing recommendations that continue to promote effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability within the Agency.”
In June, Carlson said that a whistleblower told his show that the NSA was spying on him.
At the time, the NSA put out a statement saying that Carlson’s allegation that the NSA had been “monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air” was untrue. The agency added that “Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the Agency and the NSA has never had any plans to try to take his program off the air.”
A statement from NSA regarding recent allegations: pic.twitter.com/vduE6l6YWg
— NSA/CSS (@NSAGov) June 30, 2021
As The Daily Wire previously reported, a July report said that the Biden administration had allegedly unmasked Carlson.
“We told you that the National Security Agency has been monitoring this show and the content of Tucker’s emails,” Fox News fill-in host Mark Steyn said during Carlson’s show. “According to a media outlet called The Record, the NSA has just completed its internal review of the matter. The NSA now admits that it unmasked Tucker’s identity after an intelligence intercept.”
“By law, the identities of American citizens are concealed when they’re caught up during foreign intelligence gathering,” Steyn added. “They can only be unmasked in extraordinary circumstances.”
The report from The Record stated:
… the nation’s top electronic spy agency found that Carlson was mentioned in communications between third parties and his name was subsequently revealed through “unmasking,” a process in which relevant government officials can request the identities of American citizens in intelligence reports to be divulged provided there is an official reason, such as helping them make sense of the intelligence documents they are reviewing.
Fox News responded to the report by saying in a statement: “For the NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson or any journalist attempting to secure a newsworthy interview is entirely unacceptable and raises serious questions about their activities, as well as their original denial, which was wildly misleading.”