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(72,631 posts)
Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:42 PM Jan 2014

NSA Gave 2-3 ‘Daily Tips’ To The FBI For 3 Years - FDL/ArsTechnica/ODNI

NSA Gave 2-3 ‘Daily Tips’ To The FBI For 3 Years
By: DSWright -FDL
Tuesday January 21, 2014 8:30 am


So about that whole not spying on Americans thing, it seems the NSA has been having quite an exchange with domestic law enforcement. According to recently declassified FISA documents the NSA has been tipping off the FBI at least two to three times per day going back at least to 2006.

The legal rationale for the surveillance is a novel interpretation Section 215 of the Patriot Act, something that even the author of the law does not necessarily agree with.

The new documents are heavily-redacted orders from FISC to the FBI. These items request that the court order an entity (likely a business) to provide “tangible things” under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The documents do not refer to who the target is, nor which company or organization they apply to.

Why is the NSA so involved in this, I thought they just did foreign intelligence? Every one of these daily “tips” is just about foreigners? Or, could it be, that any barriers between foreign intelligence and domestic spying on American citizens have been destroyed?

For those with short memories, the DEA was also caught having an inappropriate relationship with the NSA. The NSA supplied the DEA with intelligence information used to “make non-terrorism cases against American citizens.” The information the NSA supplied helped the DEA make drug and other organized crime cases that had nothing to do with terrorism. Apparently the FBI was also getting in on the action.


More: http://news.firedoglake.com/2014/01/21/nsa-gave-2-3-daily-tips-to-the-fbi-for-3-years/

The ArsTechniica Piece: http://tinyurl.com/m7wm7a8

The Documents: http://icontherecord.tumblr.com/post/73652799309/dni-clapper-declassifies-additional-documents



(3,891 posts)
1. So that would be
Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:43 PM
Jan 2014

Two or three isolated incidents not indicative of the purpose of the program a day? Wow, that seems a difficult pill to swallow.


(55,745 posts)
2. NSA snooping certainly would speed the investigation and prosecution of a certain criminal class...
Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:11 PM
Jan 2014

... specifically war criminals, traitors, mass murderers and warmongers.


(13,452 posts)
4. Such as Democrats and business partners of CIA dads.
Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:56 PM
Jan 2014

Great ways to enhance ones personal inheritances.


(116,781 posts)
3. The FDL piece seems a perfect example of reflexive bullshitting: it provides no coherent view
Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:20 PM
Jan 2014

of anything but merely adopts an outraged tone and provides links that don't seem to support the claims -- a habit that eventually produces loss of credibility and exhausts the public, who inevitably then lose interest

The opening sentence of the FDL piece references "that whole not spying on Americans thing" but so far as I can discern, the article is ultimately (though very loosely) based on various FISC documents declassified by DNI Clapper last week

OK. So I downloaded and skimmed the first four documents in that collection: none seem to reference spying on Americans; all four reference FBI authority to request certain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States citizen, which (in this case) seems to be telephony metadata

So there seems to be no big smoking gun there. Pieces like this from FDL are simply counter-productive. In reality, actually winning this particular fight would require rather more careful boring grunt work, and rather less hyperventilation, than we have seen to date



(72,631 posts)
5. From ArsTechnica... Are They Bullshit Too ???
Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:59 PM
Jan 2014
"The Court understands that NSA expects that it will continue to provide on average approximately three telephone identifiers per day to the FBI,” reads a footnote in a 2007 court order (PDF) authored by FISC Judge Frederick Scullin, Jr.

A similar footnote from a November 2006 court order refers to “two telephone numbers.” The “three” figure was continued until documents from March 2009, when the specific language changed to simply “information.” That month appears to have been a turning point between intelligence agencies and the FISC.

As we reported after the August 2013 release of declassified court documents, Judge Reggie Walton lambasted the government’s mistakes on the business records metadata collection program.

According to his newly released March 2009 FISC order (PDF), the court required the NSA to only access the vast metadata archive when there is a “reasonable, articulable suspicion [RAS] that the telephone identifier is associated with [REDACTED]” as of February 2009. (Presumably that association has something to do with a terrorism or national security threat.)

That same 2009 FISC order says that the government had not lived up to the court’s requirements.

Link at OP.


(116,781 posts)
6. If anyone produces a clear analysis, many of us will be interested. But the articles you provide
Tue Jan 21, 2014, 09:21 PM
Jan 2014

do not give us any really clear picture of anything anything at all

If, for example, on average, 8 phone calls are made daily per US person, then the transfer of 3 phone records daily, from the NSA to the FBI, would correspond to about one phone record from every one of (say) 800 million

If the US is still prosecuting 100 terrorism-related cases a year, and all the data here was transferred to the FBI for such investigations, then it would work out to about 10 or 11 phone records per investigation, for a relative handful of investigations

The FBI in any year conducts about 160K investigations; as far as I can readily tell, based on the data allegedly provided here, if the NSA sent 3 phone records daily to the FBI, at most one case in every four hundred could involve such records

No clear analysis is being provided by your links: there's hysterical hyper-ventilation and outrage -- but that won't produce any meaningful reforms.

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