Other government agencies want access to the information the National Security Agency has been collecting in its massive surveillance program, according to the New York Times.
Federal agencies trying to cut back on drug trafficking, thwart cyberattacks, investigate money laundering schemes and other such crimes want to use the NSA's surveillance tools.
A former senior intelligence official told the New York Times the NSA usually turns downs those requests over concern other agencies could abuse the information.
The criticism over the NSA's domestic spying program could have been much worse, he says, if it had shared some of its information with other agencies and they had used it for the wrong purposes.
According to the report, agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, Pentagon, and Department of Homeland Security are given access to NSA's surveillance tools for certain investigations.
The report quotes officials from these agencies, speaking on condition of anonymity, who say the NSA's intelligence director's office decides how and when the agency's spy tools may be used.