DNI’s Latest “I Con” Speak: “Sift Through and Have Unfettered Access To”

The Director of National Intelligence, after having repeatedly refused to answer any questions about the WSJ’s big scoop in yesterday’s conference call, has released a new document pretending to debunk stories based on the WSJ (though not the WSJ itself). It reads, in part,

Press reports based on an article published in today’s Wall Street Journal mischaracterize aspects of NSA’s activities conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The NSA does not sift through and have unfettered access to 75% of the United States’ online communications.

The following are the facts:

  • Media reports based upon the recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article regarding NSA’s foreign intelligence activities provide an inaccurate and misleading picture of NSA’s collection programs, but especially with respect to NSA’s use of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
  • The reports leave readers with the impression that NSA is sifting through as much as 75% of the United States’ online communications, which is simply not true.
  • In its foreign intelligence mission, and using all its authorities, NSA “touches” about 1.6%, and analysts only look at 0.00004%, of the world’s internet traffic.

Obviously, the government partly obscures its answer by presenting the global numbers when trying to debunk US numbers.

But more importantly, it builds a gigantic straw man with its “sift through and have unfettered access to” language. That’s not what the WSJ said (which is why DNI shifts its accusation).

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

[snip]

The surveillance system is built on relationships with telecommunications carriers that together cover about 75% of U.S. Internet communications.

The NSA doesn’t do all the sifting. The telecoms Americans are paying every month do the first sift (which means part of that 75% of US Internet traffic is inaccessible to the NSA).

But see what DNI doesn’t ever do? Refute the WSJ.

Which I assume means we can take as confirmation that the government and its pseudo-private partners the telecoms do, in fact, sift through 75% of US Internet traffic.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

4 Responses to DNI’s Latest “I Con” Speak: “Sift Through and Have Unfettered Access To”

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @ChrisInParis @Gaius_Publius @emptywheel @MasaccioEW Not a huge KY fan, but grudgingly respect this team for its unselfishness with the ball
48mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @arcsine @CNN I know there are some decent people there, but no clue because my cable carrier @cox doesn't carry it.
52mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @arcsine @CNN Sure, but where, as bad as they are, is the better alternative for real TV news on breaking events?
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Oh good grief, now idiot Don Lemon + @CNN have all around terrorist hit twit Juliette Kayam on to spew about aviation stuff she doesn't know
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @jackgillum @yvonnewingett No no, that is why our main wall current vacuum is a "Dyson Animal"! http://t.co/vbj3Yj7ows
7hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @Ali_Gharib: How nasty is UANI? They tried to block entirely legal humanitairan trade with Iran: http://t.co/JhM80IJ6J7 cc @ggreenwald
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @Ali_Gharib: Even as DOJ shielded UANI, the group was spreading more smears: http://t.co/ZOMVb1ldcM cc @ggreenwald
8hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @mkonnikova: Nerds, rejoice. This @NewYorker cartoon is for you. http://t.co/jm5QDv39on http://t.co/edGTK5tFqy
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Has @CNN put quack idiot Drew Pinsky on yet to bloviate about "psychology" of Lufthansa pilot. That's final moment CNN will be totally dead.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @misterdevans Old, Alzheimers, dolt... I dunno, fill in the blank.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @yvonnewingett Seriously! She guards it like a child!
8hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Sweet jesus, I have just realized my wife's precious hand held battery super suck Dyson vacuum is PERFECT for cleaning my patio pool table.
8hreplyretweetfavorite