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
emptywheel @submergingmkt Brookings pundits are picked not for their wisdom but for their justification for more defense funding.
34mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @WinstonTapper You are really cute, but shy won't you come to my birthday party?? Love, Kiki http://t.co/ogQIDhc06l
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @firetomfriedman So many pundits, such a shortage of appropriate hate!
36mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade You mean you willfully signed up for old-school surveillance? I bet you're getting Visa rebate too, where they'll track purchases
36mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Shorter Michael O'Hanlon: RAZE Mt. Rushmore and build a pyramid to the Great General's honor!
38mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Shorter Michael O'Hanlon: Oh let the Great General return to service!!! He will vanquish all terrorists by shrink wrapping them in steel!
39mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @biasedreporter Can't use poison because of the dogs.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Shorter Michael O'Hanlon: Statues to His Honor in mere gold would soil His Great Legacy.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV @biasedreporter Yes. Can't let cats out any more due to owls. Snakes will get active now with warmer weather & saw a hawk near barn today.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Shorter Michael O'Hanlon: Bribing Sunnis to stop fighting for 6 months was the most noble thing a US public servant has ever done.
42mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @RWFreeman Oh!?!?!?! You question the General's ability to shrink wrap tanks!?!?! Heresy!!!!
43mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Shorter Michael O'Hanlon: This country does David Petraeus an injustice unless it names 5 states and 2 territories after him.
43mreplyretweetfavorite