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.

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5 Responses to Contractors Already Have Access to the Phone Dragnet

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV Yo Foley: Y U no #FireMuschamp?
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JimWhiteGNV RT @davidcnswanson: You couldn't make it up: the terrorists we just finished training are now fighting us http://t.co/Zss8BmzOl6
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JimWhiteGNV RT @5wa: There probably is a reason why @DukeEnergy and #BigSugar like #ShadyScott, #Florida's Governor, @FlGovScott
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JimWhiteGNV RT @ItsGreatUF: RT for Treon Fav for Driskel
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emptywheel @sarahjeong Pumpkin spice products must be destroyed! I will take all comers! @Popehat
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JimWhiteGNV RT @LarryVettel: Jameis Winston on the sidelines should nauseate FSU grads. FSU has the same level of integrity as Congress. That's as low …
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JimWhiteGNV That's so Clemson.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @ionacraig: Today's agreement is tomorrow's kebab paper. #Yemen
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JimWhiteGNV @armandodkos Why not? BC doing well this year with QB Muschamp ran off.
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JimWhiteGNV Good head coaches Foley let get away by hiring/keeping Muschamp: Dan Mullen, Steve Addazio, Charlie Strong. #Gators wld win w/ any of these.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @thesamdakota: BURN THE ENTIRE SEC EAST. CANCEL THE SEASON. PUT TWO WEST TEAMS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. SAVE US ALL.
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JimWhiteGNV I'm serious, just let Roper take over as head coach.
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