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Tag: NSA

NSA Phone Surveillance Generates More Than 1,000 Tips a Year for FBI to Investigate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI receives more than 1,000 tips a year from information gathered from the NSA’s phone-surveillance program, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Newly declassified documents reveal that the NSA averages three tips a day that lead to terrorism probes.

“With respect to any information the FBI receives as a result of this order (information that is passed or “tipped” to it by NSA), the FBI shall follow minimization procedures,” the November 2006 document states. A footnote to that statement adds the NSA “expects that it will continue to provide on average approximately two telephone numbers a day to the FBI.”

The documents, released Friday, come as President Obama pledges to overhaul the system because of the public’s privacy concerns.

It’s unclear how accurate the tips were.

President Obama to Announce Safeguards to Prevent Abuse of Domestic NSA Data

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A secret court must grant permission for the NSA to tap into its vast database of telephone data under a new requirement expected to be announced by President Obama today, the New York Times reports.

The move comes after Obama’s administration came under intense criticism for how easily the NSA could access a trove of domestic phone information.

“The president will say that he is ordering a transition that will end the Section 215 telephone metadata program as it currently exists and move to a program that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata,” said the official, who insisted on anonymity to preview a part of the 11 a.m. speech in advance.

“The president believes that the 215 program addresses important capabilities that allow us to counter terrorism but that we can and should be able to preserve those capabilities while addressing the privacy and civil liberties concerns that are raised by the government holding this metadata,” the official added.

Obama also is expected to announce to an audience of the Justice Department that the administration will provide more safeguards for foreigners, such as heads of state, the Times wrote.

Burglar Recounts Reason She, Others Broke Into Philadelphia’s FBI Office in 1971

 

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

By Bonnie Raines 
The Guardian

I vividly remember the eureka moment. It was the night we broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in March 1971 and removed about 1,000 documents from filing cabinets. We had a hunch that there would be incriminating material there, as the FBI under J Edgar Hoover was so bureaucratic that we thought every single thing that went on under him would be recorded. But we could not be sure, and until we found it, we were on tenterhooks. 

A shout went up among the group of eight of us. One of us had stumbled on a document from FBI headquarters signed by Hoover himself. It instructed the bureau’s agents to set up interviews of anti-war activists as “it will enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles and will further serve to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.”

That was the first piece of evidence to emerge. It was vindication.

Looking back on what we did, there are obvious parallels with what Edward Snowden has done releasing National Security Agency documents that show the NSA’s blanket surveillance of Americans.

To read more click here.

 

Opinion: Why NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Doesn’t Deserve Celemency

Fred Kaplan
Slate

I regard Daniel Ellsberg as an American patriot. I was one of the first columnists to write that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be fired for lying to Congress. On June 7, two days after the first news stories based on Edward Snowden’s leaks, I wrote a column airing (and endorsing) the concerns of Brian Jenkins, a leading counterterrorism expert, that the government’s massive surveillance program had created “the foundation of a very oppressive state.”

And yet I firmly disagree with the New York Times’ Jan. 1 editorial (“Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower”), calling on President Obama to grant Snowden “some form of clemency” for the “great service” he has done for his country.

It is true that Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of American citizens—far vaster than any outsider had suspected, in some cases vaster than the agency’s overseers on the secret FISA court had permitted—have triggered a valuable debate,leading possibly to much-needed reforms.

If that were all that Snowden had done, if his stolen trove of beyond-top-secret documents had dealt only with the NSA’s domestic surveillance, then some form of leniency might be worth discussing.

But Snowden did much more than that.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


 

NSA’s Policy of Collecting Phone Records in U.S. Likely Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The National Security Agency is likely violating the Constitution by gathering the dialing records of all phone calls in the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reports.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon delivered a significant blow to the NSA and lays the groundwork for a Supreme Court battle.

Leon’s ruling doesn’t go into effect immediately because he stayed the action pending an appeal by the federal government, the Times wrote.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” wrote the judge, who was appointed to the federal district court by President George W. Bush.

Fox News: Surveillance of Americans Violates Constitution, Reduces Our Free Choices

By Judge Andrew Napolitano 
Fox News 

Readers of this page are well aware of the revelations during the past six months of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). Edward Snowden, a former employee of an NSA vendor, risked his life and liberty to inform us of a governmental conspiracy to violate our right to privacy, a right guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

The conspiracy he revealed is vast. It involves former President George W. Bush, President Obama and their aides, a dozen or so members of Congress, federal judges, executives and technicians at American computer servers and telecoms, and the thousands of NSA employees and vendors who have manipulated their fellow conspirators. The conspirators all agreed that it would be a crime for any of them to reveal the conspiracy. Snowden violated that agreement in order to uphold his higher oath to defend the Constitution.

The object of the conspiracy is to emasculate all Americans and many foreigners of their right to privacy in order to predict our behavior and make it easier to find among us those who are planning harm.

To read more click here.

NSA’s Deputy Director Skeptical About Plan to Give FBI, DEA Access to Surveillance Data

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The NSA’s deputy director has expressed skepticism about giving the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement access to the agency’s troves of data, the Guardian reports.

NSA’s top civilian, John C. Inglis, said he was unaware of a Senate bill that would allow some law enforcement to search directly through the NSA’s data.

“The FBI is a customer of mine,” Inglis said in response to a question from the Guardian. “But I don’t provide domestic intelligence for the FBI, I essentially provide foreign intelligence inside, something that might cross the seam, and give them a tip as to how to spend their precious domestic resources to prosecute terrorism, counterintelligence, things of that sort.”

“So I can imagine situations where I, on their behalf, am querying my databases, foreign intelligence databases, to inform those instruments of power. I’m not yet in a place where I understand how I might give them direct access to those databases for their authorities. That I think would be problematic.”

Inglis said he wants to look at the legislation.

Anger Over NSA Surveillance Could Lead to Broad Changes in Intelligence Gathering

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Is the intelligence community on the verge of a major shakeup?

Maybe so, the USA Today reports.

As public pressure builds against the NSA over more revelations over international and domestic spying, lawmakers are considering major overhauls.

“It is time for serious and meaningful reforms so we can restore confidence in our intelligence community,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. “Modest transparency and oversight provisions are not enough. We need real reform.”