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
JimWhiteGNV We tortured some folks. So? #2014in5words
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @billmon1 No, really, the punch line is Evan Bayh. He's actually QUOTED in the torture report ... being a fucking moron.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @AlecMacGillis: When a player gets multiple concussions, knows what it means, but can't quit. Great @KVanValkenburg on Wes Welker: http:…
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel BREAKINGNOTBREAKING Evan Bayh is a chump. http://t.co/intM2rUXoC
9hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Shocking! Oh, wait... RT @nytimesworld: Panel to Advise Against Penalty for C.I.A.’s Computer Search http://t.co/MqXeS8DWwV
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @empiricalerror LOL. Wung it.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Tebow keeping it classy. In WalMart ads now. Sheesh.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Hmm. William Broad asks why silicon content of anthrax attacks not investigated better. http://t.co/kVd8i55k0V See https://t.co/29vuNgukNV
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @GregoryMcNeal My bacon comes from a farm too small for a drone to find. #ObscurityInBacon
9hreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @emptywheel: When certain Tweeps or certain Gray Science Journos write about a topic it tends to raise suspicion, not allay it.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @GregoryMcNeal Give it 6 months and SJC Chair and CAFO fan will ban that.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ErrataRob That was a long time ago, though, and a different President, so we don't have to worry about a rush to judgment.
10hreplyretweetfavorite
June 2014
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930