If Everything NSA Does is “Auditable,” Why Can’t NSA Tell Us How Many Americans They’ve Spied On?

NSA Director Keith Alexander just said this to the hackers at DefCon (while wearing an absolutely ridiculous hacker costume):

“We get oversight by Congress, both intel committees and their congressional members and their staffs,” he continued, “so everything we do is auditable by them, by the FISA court … and by the administration. And everything we do is accountable to them…. We are overseen by everybody. And I will tell you that those who would want to weave the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people is absolutely false.”

But a month ago, Alexander’s Inspector General told Ron Wyden that an estimate of the number of people inside the United States who have had their communications collected or reviewed under the FISA Amendments Act “was beyond the capacity of his office.” Of note, the IG and NSA leadership–that is, presumably Alexander himself–claimed such a review would “violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”

I look forward to Ron Wyden’s response to Alexander’s seeming reversal on that earlier letter with claims of this unlimited auditability.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

10 Responses to If Everything NSA Does is “Auditable,” Why Can’t NSA Tell Us How Many Americans They’ve Spied On?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Seriously, as breeze thru channels, see repeats of Will Cain,atty at law,on ESPN. Indescribably atrocious as to actual law+constit process
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The almost just current sky while I was outside talking on the phone with NFC East fans: http://t.co/2UAlZ3yiNV
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @Pachacutec_ NO! That is what moved him ahead of Eli!
8hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bmaz Oh? The Pats are already only your THIRD favorite team??? It's bc Tommy destroyed his phone, isn't it? @Pachacutec_
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mollyknefel Congrats! Way to take charge.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Pachacutec_ Oh, wait!! You DO play my new third favorite team, the Bradys! #FreeTomBrady
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Pachacutec_ Naw, thank you. Well, at least until the Gents play the Pack or Cards. Don't think that's this year! So, all good!
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @mattkbh Possibly true. But glad you gave New Haven its due.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Pachacutec_ I see you over there in the corner. Come join me, my friend.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Basically we called out PK over Mullah Omar then promptly sent SEAL Team 6 to off OBL. https://t.co/fUSlXZMJx0 Busy time, early 2011.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Irony: Mullah Omar, not OBL, ended up in a hospital w/kidney failure. https://t.co/O9bHAvPW5A
9hreplyretweetfavorite