ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
I'm Melissa Block. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)
BLOCK: For weeks now, we've been hearing about the fallout from Edward Snowden's revelations about just how much information the National Security Agency is collecting. And now, there's a new wrinkle. NPR's Steve Henn joins me now to talk about that. And, Steve, we're talking about a report in The Wall Street Journal on Friday which said that were people within the NSA carrying on extracurricular activities with their spying.
STEVE HENN, BYLINE: That's right. The NSA admitted Friday that a handful of spies or analysts over the past decade had used their high-tech tools inappropriately and committed what they called willful violations of collection procedures. The Wall Street Journal's fleshed out that report a little bit, saying most of this was motivated by analysts taking a look at what their ex-lovers or spouses or partners were up to.
BLOCK: And how common was that?
HENN: Well, the NSA issued a statement that said these violations had been very rare. But according to the journal, it was common enough that the practice earned its own moniker within the NSA: LOVEINT. As opposed to signal intelligence, love intelligence. The thing is, you know, you see this kind of thing pretty frequently in big databases and surveillance.
BLOCK: And what were the consequences at the NSA?
HENN: Well, again, according to The Wall Street Journal, folks received either an administrative slap on the wrist, some may have been fired. There were no charges filed. Still, this has become a big embarrassment for the NSA. If you spent any time on Twitter over the weekend, you may have seen jokes and hashtags pop up like #NSALovePoems or #NSAPickupLines.
BLOCK: Yeah. I was looking at some of these over the weekend, and here's one, a haiku about the NSA on Twitter, and it's completely blacked out. It's been redacted.
HENN: Yeah. My favorite was this simple classic: Roses are red, violets are blue, your password is 6852.
BLOCK: Some NSA love poetry. Steve Henn, thanks so much.
HENN: My pleasure.