The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has found that its staffers used internal machines to spy on a Senate panel that was reporting on its interrogation and detention techniques.
According to a report in The New York Times, an internal CIA investigation uncovered the spying. The report added that the information taken related to an investigation into the CIA's detention and interrogation program and was aimed at the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The New York Times said that emails were picked up and read, along with summaries of findings.
One source told the paper that the CIA officers had created a fake identity that they used to gain secret access to Senate computers.
A statement released to The New York Times by a CIA spokesman said that John Brennan, the agency's director apologised to the Senate, another added that "potential disciplinary measures" are being considered.
Committee member, the Republican, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, was critical of the CIA. "This is a serious situation and there are serious violations," he said, adding that the guilty parties should be "dealt with very harshly".
Mark Udall, another member of the Intelligence Committee, called for Brennan's resignation. "The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee computers," he said in a statement.
"This grave misconduct not only is illegal but it violates the US Constitution's requirement of separation of powers. These offences, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences."
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