Half the LOVEINT Violations Committed by Non-NSA Employees

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Chuck Grassley just released a summary of violations of NSA authority he requested back in August.

The data is pretty meaningless. As I have shown, NSA’s own internal reporting shows about 9% (and up to 20% in some categories) of its violations are “due diligence” violations, which are violations of rules that an analyst knows (human error, intelligence error, and training are treated as distinct violations). If today’s hearing was any indication, the Senate Intelligence Committee seems to have no understanding that 9% of all violations are willful violations of rules.

All that said, of the 12 incidents the NSA reported (there are 3 incidents still under investigation), fully half appear to be committed by members of different agencies (though one of those was a military person reported to NSA). That’s a lot of other agency personnel abusing SIGINT authorities they’re granted access to.

And note, DOJ has never prosecuted any of these. In just about all cases where DOJ gets a referral, the person resigns before being charged. The UCMJ does better — DOD has punished two people.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

1 reply
  1. joanneleon says:

    To add to this creepy LOVEINT subject of what people do with surveillance data, I get the creepiest ads on this site sometimes. For some reason, they are creepier on this site then elsewhere, though no doubt, there are creepy personalized ads elsewhere too. But the weird thing is that it’s pretty clear that someone has sold some very old medical records of mine. The only time I get ads for medicine or related to medical conditions, it’s about things that I’ve been treated for 20+ years ago. So somebody sold HIPPA protected data. I never get medical related ads for some random condition that I never had.

    Ugh. I hate these privacy issues and these creepy f’ing people who collect data on other people.

    And you know, it’s not too hard to imagine that there are troubled or again, just plain creepy people with access to these massive NSA data bases who develop obsessions with people whose data they have access to. CIA has been known to have their share of people who are off the rails. And if they’ve got access to geolocation data, they could f’ing follow people too. If they can hack into webcams, cell phone microphones (and it’s confirmed that they can)… Maybe it’s best not to think about the things they could do and the probability that things like this do happen.

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