National Intelligence Director: NSA Does Not ‘Voyeuristically’ Monitor Private Info

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in March that the National Security Agency does not “wittingly” collect data from millions of Americans.

“There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect—but not wittingly,” he said before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Reached by National Journal on Thursday in the wake of reports that the NSA is actively collecting Americans’ phone log records, Clapper claimed that he stood by his original remarks, but qualified that he was referring to email communications.

“What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails,” he told the Journal in a phone interview. “I stand by that.”


Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at