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.

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

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Incredibly disturbing piece by @nancyayoussef and @mcclatcy http://t.co/DmqXEIAU80 @jimasher @evanperez
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bmaz Wow, this is just brutal comment on Obama Admin: Former al Qaida hostage recounts nightmare – of dealing with FBI http://t.co/DmqXEIAU80
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bmaz RT @jimasher: McClatchy Exclusive: Former America held hostage by al Qaida recounts nightmare – of dealing with US government http://t.co/J
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bmaz May the Trees have fair skies above and strong winds behind them in the second half.
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bmaz After being universally roasted+devoured for Thanksgiving RT @EM_Equity Turkey To Start Free Trade Negotiations With Russia @johnsonr
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bmaz @kevinjonheller On a positive note among friends, I am enjoying frequent channel flits to the Trees game+wish them and you the best in that!
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bmaz @kevinjonheller People talk about Van Natta getting a Pulitzer. He ought be ridiculed.
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bmaz @kevinjonheller Slightly??? Like by geometric factors. Van Natta's figures were pure ignorant shit.
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bmaz @kevinjonheller YOU are the one that blindly ignores reality here.
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bmaz @kevinjonheller Bull fucking shit. I did it after culling through tons of NJ statistics and figuring in 30 years of practice.
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bmaz @kevinjonheller I have shown you the numbers. You are arguing against reality, and Van Natta was full of shit ignorant about actual crim law
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bmaz RT @AlbertBreer: Nice work by @jemelehill on this thorough first-person piece she did with Janay Rice: http://t.co/Td01v03art
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