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
bmaz @RKTlaw I doubt that, I think they will want to end the issue one way or another, but it is possible.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RKTlaw Heh, at this rate, there may never be a circuit split and they just sit back and let it happen.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RKTlaw Maybe, but there seems to be scant few below that want to go there anymore. It is amazing.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The snowball in favor of marriage and LGBT equality in American courts is amazing. Who will the the last judge to endorse the bigotry?
26mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @bmaz: This new state court decision by Judge Zabel deeming FL SSM ban unconstitutional is really something beautiful http://t.co/KrMHDa
27mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @mattduss: Bibi lied. People died. http://t.co/9i85wpDxuy
27mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz This new state court decision by Judge Zabel deeming FL SSM ban unconstitutional is really something beautiful http://t.co/KrMHDawncQ
27mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AllThingsHLS @gregpmiller In some fairness, most said deals involved traditional cooperation agreements, something not really applic to ES
32mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AllThingsHLS @gregpmiller Yeah, but contrary to govt claim it never happens, Ive cut deals for extraterritorial return before; best option.
40mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Did David Sanger just ignore the French and Israelis, who like China, steal commercial data?
41mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@gregpmiller That's alright, Ledgett was fairly disingenuous about the "offer" in the first place. Never more than press fodder.
45mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @RMardiniICRC: #Gaza: Targeting ambulances, hospitals & medical workers is a serious violation of the law of war. @ICRC http://t.co/ywly
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