Intel agency previously stated Fox host ‘has never been an intelligence target’
The internal watchdog at the National Security Agency announced that the office will perform a review “related to recent allegations” that the intelligence agency “improperly targeted the communications of a member of the US news media.”
The NSA’s Office of the Inspector General “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,” according to an announcement on Tuesday. “If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider other issues that may arise during the review.”
Mr Carlson broadcast his programme from Hungary last week following the government’s years-long attempt to court Fox News; Mr Carlson had also reportedly sought an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin through US-based Kremlin intermediaries, according to Axios.
While the agency is ostensibly tasked with foreign signals, its broad, warrantless surveillance dragnet and collaboration with federal law enforcement has faced widespread criticism and allegations of civil rights abuses. But legal experts have suggested that if Mr Carlson was swept up in any government monitoring, he may have contacted foreign agents under surveillance, though those messages would have masked his identity.
“It is unclear why Carlson, or his source, would think this outreach could be the basis for NSA surveillance or a motive to have his show canceled,” Axios reported.
His NSA allegations sparked right-wing backlash, including among some members of Congress, and he submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain NSA data as far back as 2019, when Hungary hired Washington DC-based lobbyists to arrange an interview on his programme.
He insisted that NSA “leaked the contents of my e-mail to journalists in an effort to discredit me” and lashed out at journalists who submitted FOIA requests of their own to determine what exactly Mr Carlson sought from the NSA.
独立者 has requested comment from Fox News.