5 Years of Data Not Collected by NSA

Just days after General Keith Alexander successfully dodged questions about the NSA’s massive new data storage facility by disclaiming any responsibility for collecting US person data, the National Counterterrorism Center is preparing to extend how long they can retain US person data to 5 years.

The Justice Department is close to approving guidelines that would allow the intelligence community to lengthen the period of time it retains information about U.S. residents, even if they have no known connection to terrorism.

Senior U.S. officials familiar with the guidelines said the changes would allow the National Counterterrorism Center, the intelligence community’s clearinghouse for counterterrorism data, to keep such information for up to five years.

Currently, the center must promptly destroy any information about U.S. citizens or residents unless a connection to terrorism is evident.

I guess if you’ve got all that data storage space in UT, you’re going to need something to fill it with.

To justify this power grab, the WaPo’s sources point to two attacks that had nothing to do with the length of data retention: the Nidal Hasan attack, in which information on his conversations with Anwar al-Awlaki hadn’t been shared throughout the government, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, in which his suspect status hadn’t been loaded into the no-fly list.

They don’t, however, point to a concrete example where 5 year old data of US persons might have helped solve an actual terror attack.

But thanks to this measure pushed through in almost complete secrecy, when they declare–say–your Church a terrorist organization in three year’s time, they’ll have records of your association with it in a database in UT.

Update: Here’s Charlie Savage on this. Here’s the new guidelines. And here’s the guidelines they replaced. I’ll come back to these later.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz .@bryandunlap @jeffa934 Absolutely. The three, actually four now I think, are all independent of each other and remarkably consistent.
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bmaz @jeffa934 Well, so be it.
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bmaz @jeffa934 It is not what I believe, it is 27 years of hands on experience with witnesses and juries.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jeffa934 No, the way it is currently being pitched here is directly relevant, and it is total bullshit.
20mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @yesmsimone She is really great, I like her a lot. But I am not putting her on the stand again.
22mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jeffa934 Well, thats sure as hell how its being applied right now, as the subject "eyewitnesses" are all black and discredit the white cop
23mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz In relation to #Ferguson and Darren Wilson, "eyewitness unreliability" is currently nothing more than a canard to discredit black witnesses.
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bmaz @yesmsimone She got unnecessarily eaten alive by the prosecutor; just didn't make an effective expert. Her written work is superb.
30mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Is eyewitness testimony unreliable? Sure, sometimes it is. But it is necessary, and it is very powerful.
32mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @JasonLeopold: Behold, John Brennan’s Scary Memo! http://t.co/9LlP3nVy5W some serious dot connecting here via @emptywheel
33mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz You know where you here all this about the "unreliability of eyewitness testimony"? In cases of people convicted by eyewitness testimony.
34mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Heres the thing - for all the clacking about unreliability of eyewitness evidence, juries absolutely eat it up. Its VERY powerful+persuasive
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