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 TwitterShare 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
emptywheel RT @wizardkitten: Staring to think there is a Reagan birthday curse surrounding Dem messaging today.... https://t.co/sP5s7deEzY
39sreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @MonaHol This is spot on in many ways https://t.co/R7SC8wlDjs
7mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The case against Hillary Clinton https://t.co/R7SC8wlDjs An excellent and sober look at the substantive issues with a Clinton Presidency.
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @beardedcrank Lehman, Goldman will be issue for Kasich, Jeb, Cruz if they get nomination. But that's all a bit more. @nickconfessore
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickconfessore Well, and that she's a Democrat. Don't imagine Condi's post-State speeches would ever cause her same problem if she ran.
22mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Hoping new Beyonce video makes NFL think back to Janet's boob with nostalgia and fear.
23mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @FalseHOOHA Yes, I know how Twitter works. My point was that even known facts show US was doing unprecedented things @danielschuman @Snowden
27mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Eclectablog Huh. I'd actually have bet the foreclose king would support Rubio. But I guess real estate thugs all get along?
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel But we're not supposed to dig up speeches from the 1990s. "Welfare reform for large multinational corporations." https://t.co/HamULJJdSP
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jeff_kaye And we're talking 2000s?
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @jeff_kaye Just psych?
41mreplyretweetfavorite
June 2014
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930