Wyden & Udall to Alexander: Why Do You People Keep Lying?

According to a letter Ron Wyden and Mark Udall sent Keith Alexander, the NSA is still lying publicly. At issue are two inaccuracies in the information sheet the NSA released about Section 702 implementation.

We were disappointed to see that this fact sheet contains an inaccurate statement about how the section 702 authority has been interpreted by the US government. In our judgment this inaccuracy is significant, as it portrays protections for Americans’ privacy as being significantly stronger than they actually are.

While I’m not certain what inaccuracy they’re talking about here, I suspect it has to do with the US person contact info collected along with targets. Even a comparison of the minimization order and the NSA’s claims make it clear US person communication can be swept up more easily than they claim.

Then there’s this complaint, which explicitly objects to the suggestion that the government manages to purge US person data, which of course they also claim they don’t track.

Separately, this same fact sheet states that under Section 702, “Any inadvertently acquired communication of or concerning a US person must be promptly destroyed if it is neither relevant to the authorized purpose nor evidence of a crime.” We believe that this statement is somewhat misleading, in that it implies that the NSA has the ability to determine how many American communications it has collected under section 702, or that the law does not allow the NSA to deliberately search for the records of particular Americans. In fact, the intelligence community has told us repeatedly that it is “not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed under the authority” of the FISA Amendments Act.

They make it clear the claim this information gets purged is false.

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10 Responses to Wyden & Udall to Alexander: Why Do You People Keep Lying?

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @chinahand And American-style dick waving always works so well with Chinese officials playing a long game.
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @KailiJoy Who's saying the opposite? They're saying the now-50+ year old kid should have sued in public?
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emptywheel @manish_vij What it does INSTEAD of saying, "FISC was wrong" is say "you need an SST to narrow bulk for this law," but doesn't say how far.
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emptywheel @manish_vij Congress had never knowingly bought off on that definition before. This bill doesn't redefine the term, thereby leaving in place
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emptywheel @manish_vij The "bulk" is tied to the definition of "relevant to," which bill doesn't touch, and therefore ratifies as FISC interpreted.
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emptywheel @manish_vij No. Again, the bill DOES prohibit IC-definition bulk collection on Verizon, but not (explicitly) on Western Union.
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emptywheel @B_Meson I don't think I'm available before. So go ahead. @pdp7 @tinleyharrier @jujueyeball
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emptywheel @manish_vij Right. Those are communications corporations. That says nothing abt companies like Western Union, Visa. @Krhawkins5
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emptywheel @manish_vij And again, that's all IC's definition of bulk, not ordinary human definition. @Krhawkins5
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emptywheel @manish_vij Right now selector for dragnet is "Verizon," which is bulk. That does not prohibit use of non-communications corps. @Krhawkins5
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emptywheel @manish_vij IMO (there is disagreement) it IS swiss cheese for non-comms. For comms will end IC-def bulk under FISA @normative @Krhawkins5
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emptywheel @manish_vij But it's kind of wrong Q bc it accepts IC definition of bulk, which is not normal English def. @normative @Krhawkins5
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