DOJ’s IG Hints at Concerns about Back Door Search Issues

In addition to focusing on whether the classification of past IG Reports will limit what he can release about the Section 215 dragnet and Section 702 content collection, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz laid out one more significant civil liberties concern related to national security investigations.

Additional concerns about civil rights and liberties are likely to arise in the future. For example, significant public attention has been paid to programs authorizing the acquisition of national security information, but relatively less has been paid to the storing, handling, and use of that information. Yet after information has been lawfully collected for one investigation, crucial questions arise about whether and how that information may be stored, shared, and used in support of subsequent investigations. Similar questions arise about the impact on civil rights and liberties of conducting electronic searches of national security information and about whether and how information obtained in a national security context can be used for criminal law enforcement. As the Department continues to acquire, store, and use national security information, these issues will arise more and more frequently, and the Department must ensure that civil rights and liberties are not transgressed.

I don’t guarantee this is a reference to back door searches.

But we know that FBI has been permitted to conduct searches on content collected under traditional FISA or FISA Amendments Act since at least 2008. We know that the Intelligence Community does not believe it needs even Reasonable Articulable Suspicion — of a national security concern or of a crime — to search this data. And in the past, DOJ has argued it can use FISA-collected information to find things like evidence of rape to use to coerce people to turn informant.

So I’m going to wildarseguess that at least part of what Horowitz alludes to here pertains to whether DOJ can search this incidentally collected information in support of criminal investigations. That would of course violate the spirit of every wiretap law in the country, but given the government’s past interpretations of what the elimination of the wall between NSA and FBI means and their claims they don’t need RAS to search these databases, it is a real possibility that’s what they doing (though they may be claiming that the crimes in question are “related” to the national security claims — things like money laundering and drug sales and so forth).

I’m also interested in Horowitz’ allusion to “national security information.” Does this go beyond content? Is he worried about the use of bulk-collected data in criminal investigations?

OK, now he’s got me worried.

But note what he doesn’t say: that he’s investigating this.

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

4 Responses to DOJ’s IG Hints at Concerns about Back Door Search Issues

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV Southern Khorasan exports 50,000 square meters of rug http://t.co/E6wwQQBqN1
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Re: O's review of CAT: Anas al-Libi's lawyer invoked both DTA & O's Executive Order when claiming CIA abusive https://t.co/Fo84CaHqsW
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @lisapease Even that rule, "accredited to major org" has a lot of play w/in in. @TimothyS
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Um, @adambonin You did NOT properly tell me about the awesome appearance of Elsbeth Tascioni tonight. @GoodWifeWriters
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Hey @emptywheel "noodle armed" Peyton Manning was 22 of 16, for 318 yards, 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions in 3 qrtrs. How bad is that?
10hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @tomphilpott But pumpkin-spice has nothing to do with actual pumpkins.
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @BloombergNews: Here’s a list of break-even points for some of America’s biggest shale-oil regions: http://t.co/7a5fHOAXhI http://t.co/y
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel .@chrisgeidner Seriously? Not a single "progressive" NGO said they thought banks should be subject to same laws rest of us are? @evanmcsan
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @chrisgeidner Progressives are looking for another person who'll immunize bank crimes (and torture and illegal wiretapping)? @evanmcsan
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @Matt_Cagle: MT @MikeScarcella: Justice Dept. moves to dismiss @ACLU_NorCal suit over database of 'suspicious’ acts http://t.co/JLGI7No
11hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @twolf10: To honor Peyton Manning's TD record, Papa John's will be cutting benefits to 50% of its employees.
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @twolf10: To honor Peyton Manning's TD record, Papa John's will be cutting benefits to 50% of its employees.
11hreplyretweetfavorite
December 2013
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031