A Key Part of RuppRoge’s Fake Dragnet Fix Reform: Pay the Telecoms

Here’s an interesting “reform” in the RuppRoge’s Fake Dragnet Fix. It pays the telecoms.

COMPENSATION AND ASSISTANCE.–The Government shall compensate, at the prevailing rate, an electronic communications service provider for providing records in accordance with directives issued pursuant to [their bill].

Section 215 does not include such a payment provision. And while the first two phone dragnet orders included provision for such payments, that was probably illegal.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure the government has found some way to pay the telecoms, either through added payments for AT&T’s Hemisphere program or gifts in kind. (Though given the timing of DOJ’s suit against Sprint for over-billing, I do wonder whether the government is retaliating for something.) Telecoms don’t spy for free, so I’m sure they’ve been getting paid, illegally, for the last 8 years of dragnet spying they’ve been doing.

But the lack of such provision in Section 215 should have limited the scope of the dragnet. It should have required that requests be so narrow no telecom was going to send big bills to the government every month. And it presumably made the telecoms (well, except for AT&T, which never met a spying request it didn’t love) less willing to interpret orders from the government expansively.

The inclusion of such a compensation clause in the RuppRoge “reform” makes it even more likely this dragnet will expand with the now well-oiled willingness of the telecoms to go above and beyond the letter of the request.

Which is presumably just how the NSA wants it to be.

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4 Responses to A Key Part of RuppRoge’s Fake Dragnet Fix Reform: Pay the Telecoms

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emptywheel Persistent Concerns abt Altered Financial Data https://t.co/4ORuaq6opG Year after President's Review Group raised concern, now Global Threat
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emptywheel RT @agolis: This quote captures everything about who loves and hates these two people and why. http://t.co/hsusrWtaTC http://t.co/JvP8fvjNoJ
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emptywheel Apparently the Senate Sergeant at Arms is more worried about these invaders than about Bibi's recent invasion. http://t.co/da1JYdNFaJ
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield I dunno man, lots of internet pundits and journalists are telling me he has "been cleared".
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emptywheel @adamgoldmanwp Though to his credit (something I rarely give him) Brennan has been caught in fewer lies since he moved back to CIA.
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emptywheel @adamgoldmanwp You're right. I'm wrong to be concerned. A CIA Director would never ever lie.
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bmaz RT @ScottGreenfield: The DoJ finding evid inadequate to prosecute Darren Wilson is not the same as Wilson being innocent. It is not proof o…
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JimWhiteGNV The azaleas we transplanted to make room for the blueberries are thriving in their better location. http://t.co/vLoiKITB58
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emptywheel @armandodkos True. And they've been colleagues w/Mark Penn in the past, which taints all.
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emptywheel @armandodkos Hillary's a big girl w/an army of flacks. If there's no there there, she can make that clear. Me. I'm glad we're talking email
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emptywheel @carwinb The language they're dancing around is very interesting. And ultimately she backed off most interesting issues.
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emptywheel @JameelJaffer Yes. And not just Muhtorov, right?
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