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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bmaz @ScottGreenfield "The law professor in the Think Progress blog was totally correct." Oh yeah, like that is fucking credible.
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bmaz @ddayen Well, compared to Loretta Lynch, he surely is.
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bmaz @KellyFlood3 @DanCBarr My own little picture for posterity. Arpaio's look was priceless.
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bmaz @DanCBarr Mike Manning still loves his cash cow! http://t.co/Oi7Redxw1r
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bmaz Tony Blair to join McCain at Sedona Forum 2015 http://t.co/vtNulbBl6z Jeebus, what is Sheldon Whitehouse doing at this? Cc: @emptywheel
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bmaz @benwizner @realDonaldTrump Go stand in the corner Ben
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bmaz @johnsonr Ilya Kuryakin!
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bmaz RT @DanCBarr: @bmaz Yep. The only thing truly shocking about Arpaio's testimony is that there people who are shocked and surprised.
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bmaz @DanCBarr 22+ years. It started first looking suspect about 60-90 days in. Though public first really started catching on w/Norberg death.
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bmaz RT @emptywheel: Government’s Own Witness Debunks Government’s “Overwrought Hyperbole” in Sterling Case https://t.co/kJ4tJAAUw0
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bmaz RT @eggsandbread: how to sneak chocolate undetected into a US cinema http://t.co/GkBNQFAUV8
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bmaz @ErinatTheSun Didn't think so. So why would anybody ever file in state court then??
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