Federal Way

Report: NSA may have monitored World Vision staffers

Report:  NSA may have monitored World Vision staffers
File photo shows the National Security Agency building at Fort Meade, Md.

FEDERAL WAY – A Seattle area faith based charitable organization says it is not surprised by media revelations that the National Security Agency may have monitored some of its staffers emails as part of a massive international eavesdropping initiative.

Among new NSA revelations, this weekend the New York Times reported that a representative for World Vision operating in Somalia was ‘considered fair game for monitoring’ by the agency after it collected more than 100 email addresses from a Mogadishu Internet service provider in 2009.

Today the Federal Way based World Vision issued a statement saying in part that if the Times’ report is true it has no effect on the organization’s programming, funding expectations, strategy, or planning in the region.

"It is not surprising that emails of World Vision staff in our Somalia offices may have been monitored by individuals with the United States’ National Security Agency,” wrote World Vision’s Sr. Director or Corporate Communications Cynthia Colin.

Colin added that the organization remains committed to serving the world’s most vulnerable children and their families in Somalia and more than 90 other countries.

The Times’ story says the email addresses were obtained by the NSA as part its “Signet development” effort and while most of the list were Somali officials or citizens, it also included emails for a United Nations political officer and the World Vision representative. 

World Vision was founded in 1950 as a Christian relief and development organization.  Today it is one of the largest such organizations in the US and is headquartered in Federal Way.