If George Bush Can Close NSA’s Back Door Loophole, Why Can’t Barack Obama?

As per usual, there was a tidbit of news in Ron Wyden’s questions at yesterday’s hearing on the USA Freedumber.

He revealed that the back door loophole was closed during the Bush Administration.

Let me start by talking about the fact that the House bill does not ban warrantless searches for Americans’ emails. And here, particularly, I want to get into this with you, Mr. Ledgett if I might. We’re talking of course about the backdoor search loophole, section 702 of the FISA statute. This allows NSA in effect to look through this giant pile of communications that are collected under 702 and deliberately conduct warrantless searches for the communications of individual Americans.  This loophole was closed during the Bush Administration, but it was reopened in 2011, and a few months ago the Director of National Intelligence acknowledged in a letter to me that the searches are ongoing today. [my emphasis]

I’m not sure precisely what he’s talking about, though I assume either the transition from the illegal program to Protect America Act, or the transition from PAA to FISA Amendments Act, removed NSA’s ability to conduct back door searches. Reading between the redactions in John Bates’ October 3, 2011 opinion, FBI apparently has had the authority to do back door searches on both traditional FISA and warrantless collection from 2008, so from the beginning of FAA.

But from what Wyden said, the NSA had the ability to do back door searches, lost it, and now has it again.

I’d sure like to know more about what happened to lead people to believe NSA should have that authority taken away from it.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

5 Responses to If George Bush Can Close NSA’s Back Door Loophole, Why Can’t Barack Obama?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Hot Fussin. Been Killing it for hours. Only Claude Rains knew
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I saw Shawn Holley on the CN type of media tonight, and not in a way that brought any joy to my memory of Johnnie Cochran. RIP.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Hot Fuss by the Killers is still one of the best albums, or whatever you kids want to call things these days, of the last decade.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @foolintheforest The latter.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cnbintucson Indeed.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MasaccioFDL Wait, @rortybomb ?? I love that guy.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cnbintucson "think there is any danger to McCullough from DOJ investigation?" // None, sadly.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @theurbansherpa If only you knew anything about theater it would all make sense! ;p
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The Killers are, well, killer. Nuf said.
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I am not positive it is okay to borrow a term from @dcbigjohn but I'm a bit reckless. So don't fence me in Bama's https://t.co/qco4mgVEvM
7hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MasaccioFDL You know, I actually believe in "the system" but have issues with gross perversions thereof. And we got that here. Hugely.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @LemonSlayerUS Take that back. Gun had blood on it on 8/19 (it looks like). DNA was run by 8/14.
8hreplyretweetfavorite
June 2014
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930