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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bmaz @ShamelessLib @jadler1969 @rickhasen I support provision of actual healthcare by the govt, not a subsidization of carriers. #MedicareForAll
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JimWhiteGNV RT @NatSecCNN: Delta Airlines says it has suspended flights between New York and Tel Aviv, Israel, because of security concerns in Tel Aviv.
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bmaz @ShamelessLib @jadler1969 @rickhasen Yes, I always thought the ACA was a poorly and cravenly constructed pile of garbage.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @flightradar24: Delta Air Lines DL 468 from New York to Tel Aviv diverts to Paris after Delta decided to cancel all Tel Aviv flights htt…
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bmaz @armandodkos @BlanksSlate Will get reversed en banc.
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bmaz @armandodkos @BlanksSlate No in that it screws up coverages; but it was an incredibly poorly constructed law, and I support legal process.
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bmaz @ShamelessLib @jadler1969 @rickhasen This is bullshit. The law and process are more important, irrespective of final decision, than individs
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bmaz It's only "partisan" when it goes against your pet political position RT @BlanksSlate Happy Insufferable Partisan Twitter Day!
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bmaz @emptywheel @onekade @ggreenwald @barryeisler @Max_Fisher Gifs are annoying. Whoever created them should be shot on sight.
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bmaz RT @MonikaBauerlein: Here's @smencimer's Halbig backgrounder. Lead plaintiff is a Bush-era HHS officlal. http://t.co/SoDxoN3dsf
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bmaz @sbagen @jadler1969 @rickhasen @mfcannon Props where due, even if they may be temporary.
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