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

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @BlanksSlate @RussPtacek "New Black Panthers" Uh huh.
3mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AllThingsHLS Well, you have to have that for an arraignment. But IA is usually the first "forthwith" court appearance after arrest.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AllThingsHLS I know, they are effectively joke at this point. That's why said I'll wait on that part. Maybe self claimed though, who knows
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @FansOfSebVettel: Ferrari's 3 German Drivers: 1. Wolfgang von Trips 2. Michael Schumacher 3. Sebastian Vettel [from 2015] #F1 http://t…
14mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @AllThingsHLS "New Black Panthers"? Really?I'll wait for more on that. Article says arraigned today, but I bet was IA http://t.co/NitMkClcn2
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emptywheel @dougsinsbca Thank you!
38mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @RickSanchezTV: #GrandJuryDecision is in. Ruling will be announced Sunday. #Ferguson
54mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AllThingsHLS: @johnson_carrie Usually, 1 support person for every two agents.
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bmaz @_JGR Will do. Though my guess is won't know much until program starts in six months or whatever and see what happens
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bmaz Reason #58,397 #ESPN sucks salted bags: They are anti-evolution http://t.co/7Mzbv0xnoi This is just pathetic.
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bmaz @_JGR And just doing crim, not immigration work, prob not the best guy to say. Will try to remember to ask around.
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