BREAKING: Iran Is a Terrorist Organization

I’m trying to sort through the irreconcilable claims about the Section 215 and PRISM/702 programs made in today’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on cyber.

But for now, I want to post Dianne Feinstein’s statement about what Section 215 does because, well, it seems Iran is now a terrorist. (This is around 1:55)

The Section 215 Business Records provision was created in 2001 in the PATRIOT for tangible things: hotel records, credit card statements, etcetera. Things that are not phone or email communications. The FBI uses that authority as part of its terrorism investigations. The NSA only uses Section 215 for phone call records — not for Google searches or other things. Under Section 215, NSA collects phone records pursuant to a court record. It can only look at that data after a showing that there is a reasonable, articulable that a specific individual is involved in terrorism, actually related to al Qaeda or Iran. At that point, the database can be searched. But that search only provides metadata, of those phone numbers. Of things that are in the phone bill. That person, um [flips paper] So the vast majority of records in the database are never accessed, and are deleted after a period of five years. To look at, or use content, a court warrant must be obtained.

Is that a fair description, or can you correct it in any way?

Keith Alexander: That is correct, Senator.

Frankly, Dianne Feinstein has appeared to keep her facts straight about Section 215, at least, better than Mike Rogers and James Clapper over the last week. But this statement conflicts in some important ways with what others are saying.

So maybe this is not accurate.

But according to DiFi — and backed by General Keith Alexander, head of NSA — Iran, along with al Qaeda, is now a terrorist organization.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Leia: Come here R2, we need you to hack yet another totally insecure Imperial lock.
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emptywheel Does it seem that Twitter and Google are both reporting in at same time on what they've done since big SV meeting? https://t.co/TVMBQc1VWP
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emptywheel @KaryMoss We've met (Marcy Wheeler) at dinners & I think you recognized me last time I saw you. Mary B & I are Wellstone twins.
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JimWhiteGNV You misspelled Bern. https://t.co/dDKwtnk0DE
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emptywheel Maybe we should just preemptively have Marc Edwards test the H2O of every broke city? Flint, Stockton, next? https://t.co/go1dd6S91n
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emptywheel Shorter One Not So Tough Nerd: I'm going to hide behind GOP refusal to call me as witness. https://t.co/2SDVfJr2rJ
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emptywheel @Susan_Hennessey So much of PRG recs (incl that one) focused on bureaucratic inertias, they both have done that @agcrocker @RossSchulman
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emptywheel @Susan_Hennessey Would you consider asking Clarke or Sunstein to also write one, going back to PRG rec? @agcrocker @RossSchulman
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bmaz @joshgerstein Also the motions to quash subpoenas to Rice, Powell and State officials would take a while.
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bmaz @joshgerstein No kidding. Probably never in a criminal court anyway.
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emptywheel @DanaHoule You don't think the paper will make any difference?
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bmaz @joshgerstein I mean, heck, federal courts just don't move that fast. Except on Bush v. Gore.
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