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Thu Jun 20, 2013, 03:58 PM

Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant [View all]

Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant

Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA's surveillance of Americans' communication

Document one: procedures used by NSA to target non-US persons
Document two: procedures used by NSA to minimise data collected from US persons

Glenn Greenwald and James Ball
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 20 June 2013 19.34 BST


The documents show that discretion as to who is actually targeted lies directly with the NSA's analysts. Photograph: Martin Rogers/Workbook Stock/Getty

Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.

The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target "non-US persons" under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance.

...

However, alongside those provisions, the Fisa court-approved policies allow the NSA to:

Keep data that could potentially contain details of US persons for up to five years;

Retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;

Preserve "foreign intelligence information" contained within attorney-client communications;

Access the content of communications gathered from "U.S. based machine" or phone numbers in order to establish if targets are located in the US, for the purposes of ceasing further surveillance.


...

One-paragraph order

One such warrant seen by the Guardian shows that they do not contain detailed legal rulings or explanation. Instead, the one-paragraph order, signed by a Fisa court judge in 2010, declares that the procedures submitted by the attorney general on behalf of the NSA are consistent with US law and the fourth amendment.

...

READ THE REST at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/fisa-court-nsa-without-warrant?CMP=twt_gu

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