Dianne Feinstein: We Need to Collect Data on Every Single American Because We Can’t Control Our Informants

I will have far, far more to say about the claims about the various surveillance programs aired on the Sunday shows today.

But this is absolutely batshit crazy.

FEINSTEIN: Well, of course, balance is a difficult thing to actually identify what it is, but I can tell you this: These programs are within the law. The [Section 215] business records section is reviewed by a federal judge every 90 days. It should be noted that the document that was released that was under seal, which reauthorized the program for another 90 days, came along with a second document that placed and discussed the strictures on the program. That document was not released.

So here’s what happens with that program. The program is essentially walled off within the NSA. There are limited numbers of people who have access to it. The only thing taken, as has been correctly expressed, is not content of a conversation, but the information that is generally on your telephone bill, which has been held not to be private personal property by the Supreme Court.

If there is strong suspicion that a terrorist outside of the country is trying to reach someone on the inside of the country, those numbers then can be obtained. If you want to collect content on the American, then a court order is issued.

So, the program has been used. Two cases have been declassified. One of them is the case of David Headley, who went to Mumbai, to the Taj hotel, and scoped it out for the terrorist attack. [my emphasis]

Dianne Feinstein says that one of the two plots where Section 215 prevented an attack was used (the other, about Najibullah Zazi, is equally batshit crazy, but I’ll return to that) is the Mumbai attack.

What’s she referring to is tracking our own informant, David Headley.

And it didn’t prevent any attack. The Mumbai attack was successful.

Our own informant. A successful attack. That’s her celebration of success 215′s use.

So her assertion is we need to collect metadata on every single American because DEA can’t keep control of its informants.

Update: Technically DiFi didn’t say this was a success, just that it had been used. I’ve edited the post accordingly.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Abdo: Min procedures would be meaningless if Smith governed here.
4mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Booyah. Abdo kills ratification "Many members of Congress not aware of program, those who were were not provided legal analysis of program."
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Ut oh. No one brought up First Amendment, meaning no mention of Bates eliminating 1A protections last year.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Again, Delery, if the FISC is providing oversight, then your political branches argument fails.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Let's also talk abt how ODNI is still hiding dates on PRTT program bc they would reveal it lied to court in CA,
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel "What else haven't you let us know" beyond what ODNI declassified? Let's talk abt how they use phone dragnet w/EO12333 dragnet, judge!
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Ut oh. Delery doesn't know answer to whether FISC imposed requirements beyond govt.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Delery's trying to have it both ways. says political branches set limit to program, but not relying on minimization procedures set by FISC
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel What's nutty as shit abt Delery's current arg is the FISC--not a political branch--sets and oversees minimization procedures.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @bsdtectr no, but she isn't good.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I'm so old I remember when Justice Roberts said govt protocols (minimization procedures) not adequate to protect 4th.
17mreplyretweetfavorite
June 2013
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