Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Visit Pee-Clob

The first panel of an all-day Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board hearing on Section 702 of FISA just finished.

It featured NSA General Counsel Raj De, ODNI General Counsel Robert Litt, Deputy AAG for National Security Brad Weigmann, and FBI General Counsel James Baker.

While there were a number of interesting disclosures — which I’ll get at in the future — the most striking aspect of the hearing was the tooth-pulling effort to get the panel to define the terms they use.

There were a slew of terms defined, among others including “minimization,” “bulk collection,” “PRISM,”

But the most interesting redefinitions were for “purge” and “search.”

After much tooth-pulling, James Dempsey got De to admit that NSA’s definition of the word “search” is different from the one used in the Fourth Amendment. Actually, that may not be entirely true: Sometimes the actual collection of data counts as a search, sometimes only the querying of it does. NSA gets to decide which is which, best as I can tell, in secret or in legal filings where it will serve to deprive someone of standing.

Then there’s “purge,” which I can’t hear anymore without seeing a pink speech bubble and scare quotes surrounding the word. Purge does not mean — as you might expect — “destroy.” Rather, it means only “remove from NSA systems in such a way that it cannot be used.” Which, best as I understand it, means they’re not actually destroying this data.

I do hope EFF figures that out before they argue the protection order for Section 215 today, as on those terms it seems increasingly clear NSA is not complying with the Jewel protection order.

“Purge.” To keep. Somewhere else.

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9 Responses to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Visit Pee-Clob

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV Fat guy TD!
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JimWhiteGNV Yeti spotted at Yankee Stadium.
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emptywheel @fredzannarbor As am I. Nor has there been found a compelling state interest in denying Phelps' speech rights. @RadioFreeTom @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom Speech speech speech. Again, just like Fred Phelps. Speech. Hateful, fair to criticize. @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom Again. Speech. You're now making argument some (cop) speech is more equal than other pigs' speech. @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom Speech is speech. "God hates fags," "Cops hate (father of black son) mayor." Both speech. @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom Terrible taste. Hypocritical. Earned criticism, esp bc they did what they said not to. Just like Fred Phelps. @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom YOU, OTOH, are claiming to support rights here you don't for other kinds of workers. @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom I've already said, SHORT of declaring war, I don't think they should be silenced. Nor lose their pension. @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom You are absolutely adopting perfectly hypocritical GOP position. Maybe out of ignorance? @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom Not in every other civilized country. Plus, many other union jobs more dangerous. @AllThingsHLS
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emptywheel @RadioFreeTom Then you're doing it wrong. Other unions have long way to go to resume privileges cops have retained. @AllThingsHLS
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