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Thu Aug 15, 2013, 11:16 PM

Remember when Obama said the NSA wasn’t “actually abusing” its powers? He was wrong. [View all]

Remember when Obama said the NSA wasn’t “actually abusing” its powers? He was wrong.

By Andrea Peterson, Published: August 15 at 10:28 pm



At a Friday press conference, President Barack Obama insisted that the threat of NSA abuses was mostly theoretical:

If you look at the reports, even the disclosures that Mr. Snowden’s put forward, all the stories that have been written, what you’re not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and, you know, listening in on people’s phone calls or inappropriately reading people’s emails.

What you’re hearing about is the prospect that these could be abused. Now part of the reason they’re not abused is because they’re — these checks are in place, and those abuses would be against the law and would be against the orders of the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Sureveillance Court).

Today our colleague Barton Gellman released new documents that contradicted Obama’s claims.

Gellman obtained an audit of the NSA’s compliance record from NSA leaker Snowden earlier in the summer. The audit, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months where the agency engaged in “unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications.” The audit only covered issues at NSA facilities in the Washington, DC area and Fort Meade areas.

...

So the NSA has, in fact, been “listening in on people’s phone calls.”

Obama said that wasn’t supposed to happen because it would be “against the orders of the FISC.” So why didn’t the judges on the court catch these abuses?

In another story broken by the Post today, the Chief of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court admits he doesn’t actually have the capability to investigate the compliance record of NSA surveillance programs:

The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing compliance with its orders.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/15/remember-when-obama-said-the-nsa-wasnt-actually-abusing-its-powers-he-was-wrong/


RELATED Threads:
Steve2470: NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds
KPete: The Chief Judge of Secret FISA Court Admits In Written Statement That It Cannot Properly Oversee NSA


President Obama needs better Advisors. The NSA is totally out of control and it's no use pretending it's not.

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Reply Remember when Obama said the NSA wasn’t “actually abusing” its powers? He was wrong. [View all]
Catherina Aug 2013 OP
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