Newly declassified documents reveal the CIA—which is supposed to be strictly limited in the types of surveillance and other secret operations it conducts on U.S. soil—routinely monitors U.S. government computer systems.

That information is contained in two formerly secret letters of “congressional notification” written in 2014 by the Intelligence Community inspector general at the time, Charles McCullough. In the letters, McCullough reveals the CIA secretly intercepted and collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection. The collection was said to occur as part of the CIA’s “routine counterintelligence monitoring of government computer systems.”

Several sources familiar with the congressional notifications at the time, but unable to speak about it until now because the material was classified, said it is extremely worrisome that the CIA intercepted private communications with Senate staff about Intelligence Community whistleblowers.

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