FISA Amendments Act Minimization: Preventing Serious Harm to Corporate Persons

As I was working through some other things last night, I had an opportunity to compare the minimization standards for the FISA Amendments Act (see section h) with the standards under which the actual minimization procedures allow the retention of purely domestic communications (that is, between parties that are all within the United States). These procedures are in addition to procedures that affect foreign communications (with one of the participants a non-US person outside the US).

Last night, I suggested there were 3 “normal” standards and one that doesn’t appear in the law pertaining to cybersecurity and encrypted communications. But that’s not entirely right. The last standard in the actual law reads,

(4) notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), with respect to any electronic surveillance approved pursuant to section 1802 (a) of this title, procedures that require that no contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party shall be disclosed, disseminated, or used for any purpose or retained for longer than 72 hours unless a court order under section 1805 of this title is obtained or unless the Attorney General determines that the information indicates a threat of death or serious bodily harm to any person.

That is, the actual law allows retention of information for up to 72 hours (presumably to process, which is moot anyway, since they’re actually keeping this data 5 years), unless the court or the Attorney General says it must be kept longer because it pertains to threat of death of serious bodily harm.

But in the minimization standards themselves, here’s how that reads.

A communication identified as a domestic communication will be promptly destroyed upon recognition unless the Director (or Acting Director) of NSA specifically determines, in writing, that:

the communication contains information pertaining to a threat of serious harm to life or property. [my emphasis]

In plain language, the law seems to be about saving human lives. But in paragraphs marked Secret, the government has redefined threat of death or “serious bodily harm to any person” as “serious harm to life or property.”

And while it’s just a guess here, I’m guessing that they switched this language, protecting property, not people, to protect corporate people.

In any case, spying on entirely domestic communications to protect against threats entirely to property, not life, sure seems like a giant loophole in a program that is supposed to be focused exclusively on foreign intelligence.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+2Email to someone

8 Responses to FISA Amendments Act Minimization: Preventing Serious Harm to Corporate Persons

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @emptywheel @ddayen @CitizenCohn And, hey, no reason for other fanboys to call @speechboy71 out for inconvenient bullshit.
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @emptywheel @ddayen @CitizenCohn Guess when yer a soul patched whiz kid of internet like @speechboy71 you can shit on others
10mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @teddysanfran: I wonder if she saw it coming? http://t.co/sTrMmqBMB4
17mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @emptywheel @ddayen @CitizenCohn I'd have to be senile and willing to lie out of my ass like @speechboy71 but, hey, someday.
19mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Alright, this is nuts holding the nurse in unheated tent with low in 40's tonight. Where's a judge with emergency injunction to free her?
30mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @gracels: To reiterate: MSF nurse being held by Christie in unheated tent, in paper scrubs, with portable toilet and no shower http://t…
31mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @texasinafrica: There's no heat in Hickox's tent. Appalling. https://t.co/eL8cIW8oPA
32mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @emptywheel @ddayen @CitizenCohn Because LYING out your ass like @speechboy71 did about my family's healthcare is brilliant.
35mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @emptywheel @ddayen @CitizenCohn Someday, in old age maybe i can be as brilliant as blogboy geniuses like @speechboy71
38mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @shenebraskan Oh man, they were REALLY good. I would kill to have seen them live.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @emptywheel @ddayen @CitizenCohn And, yes, I know @speechboy71 won't get that b/c I objected to him lying out his ass.
47mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @ColMorrisDavis @appstate Hail to the Mountaineer Victors? cc: @emptywheel @ddayen @CitizenCohn @speechboy71
49mreplyretweetfavorite
June 2013
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30