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
emptywheel @cjewel I mean, after--what--6 years you might be allowed to take off early for the holiday? @TyreJim
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bmaz So, yeah, media stooges, maybe you want to roll with the known and proven liars, or maybe you should at least wait+be circumspect.
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emptywheel @bmaz I think the real story is NK caught James Clapper lying to them and NK is less willing to be lied to by him than US citizens.
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bmaz Remember, "US investigators" are proven liars and false statement felons such as James Clapper, Keith Alexander, and a host of AUSA's.
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emptywheel @TyreJim Who has a hearing the friday before vacation? @cjewel
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emptywheel @benwizner is it freedom of speech or protection of property? I mean, recognizing to Trump they are the same...
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bmaz Sure, maybe there's a chance it is right. But, yet, the blindered credulity US media gives "US Investigators" on "NK hack" is just stupid.
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emptywheel RT @bungdan: The unexpected hero of the Cuba-US thaw: Venezuela's Maduro. http://t.co/1K8xQaqKeG
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emptywheel @bmaz BTW, Gronk is on Top Chef tonight. Apparently contestants will be asked to cook a Big Sausage for him @kevinjonheller @armandodkos
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emptywheel @bmaz I might have to hijack again then. @kevinjonheller @armandodkos
32mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel @kevinjonheller @armandodkos Pretty sure the one known as "Emptywheel" has forfeited her football trash rights through laches.
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