Contractors Already Have Access to the Phone Dragnet

In today’s HJC hearing on the NSA, there was extensive discussion about the risks of outsourcing the dragnet to the telecoms or — especially, to a third party holding all the data. It’s a concern I share.

That said, not a single person at the hearing seemed to be aware of this footnote, which has been in the phone dragnet primary orders since at least last April.

5 For purposes of this Order, “National Security Agency” and “NSA personnel” are defined as any employees of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (“NSA/CSS” or “NSA”) and any other personnel engaged in Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) operations authorized pursuant to FISA if such operations are executed under the direction, authority, or control of the Director, NSA/Chief, CSS (DIRNSA).

If this language left any doubt that it permits contractors to directly query the database of every single phone-based relationship in the US, this language from Dianne Feinstein’s Fake FISA Fix bill report (which aims to codify the status quo) should eliminate them.

The Committee believes that, to the greatest extent practicable, all queries conducted to the authorities established under this section should be performed by Federal employees. Nonetheless, the Committee acknowledges that it may be necessary in some cases to use contractors to perform such queries. By using the term “government personnel” the Committee does not intend to prohibit such contractor use.

Contractors already have access to the dragnet.

If it presents a security threat to have contractors from Booz Allen Hamilton or some other intelligence contractor to have direct access to the dragnet, then we need to shut the dragnet down.

Because they’ve already got it.

Tweet about this on Twitter49Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook5Google+0Email to someone

5 Responses to Contractors Already Have Access to the Phone Dragnet

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @Lana: can't wait until this ends up on a mural somewhere RT @SBNationGIF: FSU fans are excited. http://t.co/Q7suaLDj2P
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Holy fucking Jesus, the Billionaire Burger is incredible!
15mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV At one play every three hours, this #Gators game is going to take about six years to play.
26mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Billionaire Burger being delivered to Area 51. #Naturally http://t.co/EDkaY0zkuq
49mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz There was a dude in line behind me for the Billionaire Burger that looked JUST like @swin24 I think. #InternetHeroes
53mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Rapeis gets picked off! Again!
56mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz .@OBEYshiba Only tonight. Liberty Market in Downtown Gilbert.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @onekade I know!! Still waiting for it, but sonofabitch am I excited!
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Now eating a Billionaire Burger. Yum! http://t.co/tiN4Lv5Hno
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @evacide: Microsoft will not hand over email stored in Ireland to US prosecutors, despite court order: http://t.co/d63ZRRJqie
2hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @thesamdakota: Looks.... swampy. RT @RagjUF: Current status: http://t.co/b6NafrS2zk
2hreplyretweetfavorite
February 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728