The 3 Hop Scotch of Civil Liberties and Privacy

I was in court, so I didn’t see it, but apparently there was a little hearing over at House Judiciary Committee this morning on “Oversight of the Administration’s Use of FISA Authorities“. There was an august roll of Administration authorities and private experts: Mr. James Cole, United States Department of Justice; Mr. John C. Inglis, National Security Agency; Mr. Robert S. Litt, ODNI; Ms. Stephanie Douglas, FBI National Security Branch; Mr. Stewart Baker; Mr. Steven G. Bradbury; Mr. Jameel Jaffer; and Ms. Kate Martin.

Hmmm, let’s take a look and see if anything interesting occurred (as reported by Pete Yost of AP). Uh, well, there was THIS:

For the first time, NSA deputy director John C. Inglis disclosed Wednesday that the agency sometimes conducts what’s known as three-hop analysis. That means the government can look at the phone data of a suspect terrorist, plus the data of all of his contacts, then all of those people’s contacts, and finally, all of those people’s contacts.

If the average person calls 40 unique people, three-hop analysis could allow the government to mine the records of 2.5 million Americans when investigating one suspected terrorist.
….
The government says it stores everybody’s phone records for five years. Cole explained that because the phone companies don’t keep records that long, the NSA had to build its own database.

Go read all of Yost’s report, there is quite a bit in there that is stunning in the blithe attitude the Administration takes on this hoovering of data and personal information. Also clear: Congress has no real grasp or control of the government’s actions. The Article I brakes are out and the Article II car is accelerating and careening down the road.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @Sheeyahshee: If corruption is the entree, is criminalizing dissenting speech & critical journalism an appetizer or dessert? http://t.co
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JimWhiteGNV @AllenDeLaney Over the scoreboard! Right fielder never took a step, just turned around watching it fly.
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JimWhiteGNV @AllenDeLaney And a steal of home!
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bmaz @yaelwrites @Sheeyahshee Shahid? Trust me the man is GUILTY!!
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bmaz @yaelwrites Oh, it was my understanding that @Sheeyahshee is now a criminal!
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bmaz RT @F1Photo: Happy Birthday to Mario Andretti! Monza 1968, Mario's first F1 appearance. My dad's portrait of the man, magnifique! http://t.…
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JimWhiteGNV You can't fool @GatorZoneAlbert with those camo hats, Seawolves, he sees you in the dugout. http://t.co/VAMldQZFIY
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emptywheel RT @raif_badawi: Very Urgent: An official source told me that Raif Badawi maybe facing death penalty for apostasy again
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emptywheel @DavidKlion Agree. Not his fault he's talking to real people. @Bourdain
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emptywheel @DavidKlion @Bourdain's interviewees have not had an easy time of it, between Nemtsov and Rezaian.
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emptywheel @nickmanes1 Yup, I can imagine. And yet this prolly will happen in more systemic way some time (not just Meijer). People will panic.
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emptywheel Anthem Data Breach: How Safe is Health Information Under HIPAA?, CRS report via @saftergood http://t.co/1yIbS6INKr
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