NSA’s Spying: Medical Records, Resumés … and [about] Obama

The WaPo has been working for months to understand a chunk of incidentally collected data Edward Snowden took from the NSA. They discovered the bulk of people being spied on — who were for the most part incidentally collected — were innocent people living their everyday lives.

No government oversight body, including the Justice Department, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, intelligence committees in Congress or the president’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has delved into a comparably large sample of what the NSA actually collects — not only from its targets but from people who may cross a target’s path.

Among the latter are medical records sent from one family member to another, résumés from job hunters and academic transcripts of schoolchildren. In one photo, a young girl in religious dress beams at a camera outside a mosque.

Scores of pictures show infants and toddlers in bathtubs, on swings, sprawled on their backs and kissed by their mothers. In some photos, men show off their physiques. In others, women model lingerie, leaning suggestively into a webcam or striking risque poses in shorts and bikini tops.

Most alarming (but something they bury in the story) is that President Obama was spied on both before and after he was inaugurated. [Correction: That’s not right. What they spied on were conversations about Obama, and they kept them but masked them in foolish fashion.]

Some of them border on the absurd, using titles that could apply to only one man. A “minimized U.S. president-elect” begins to appear in the files in early 2009, and references to the current “minimized U.S. president” appear 1,227 times in the following four years.

WaPo then tries to apply the ratio of target to incidental they discovered to the number of targets to which the government admitted.

 In a June 26 “transparency report,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence disclosed that 89,138 people were targets of last year’s collection under FISA Section 702. At the 9-to-1 ratio of incidental collection in Snowden’s sample, the office’s figure would correspond to nearly 900,000 accounts, targeted or not, under surveillance.

And all of this is available for back door search, for both “intelligence” and criminal purposes.

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7 Responses to NSA’s Spying: Medical Records, Resumés … and [about] Obama

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @TyreJim On this subject yes. Also support Trump's positions on single payer free healthcare and immigration amnesty. Okay that's Old Trump.
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bmaz @JimWhiteGNV or like @JasonLeopold doing burnouts in a giant pickup truck....
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bmaz @JimWhiteGNV Dude totally looked like you!
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JimWhiteGNV @bmaz Hey, I don't have an SUV!
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bmaz @IanPGunn ...on my office TV while working. The only guy saw that got it right ahead of time about backflooding on levees was @chadmyerscnn
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bmaz @IanPGunn I'm in AZ, so was kind of removed. But was fascinated by Katrina before+after impact. So, watched a LOT of coverage at home and...
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bmaz @robertcaruso @JimWhiteGNV Man, but for your RT, wouldn't have seen video, which is WAY more awesome than the GIF. https://t.co/gubkbbhZd0
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emptywheel @theurbansherpa So you schedule holiday next year this time to look into the How-Old app to see if it's time for heating pad? @BreeBartonYA
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emptywheel @BreeBartonYA Sounds awesome. You don't get the heating pad til next year, remember? When you turn 60?
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emptywheel @BobbyChesney So yeah, that all makes the non-mooting ruling more interesting. @charlie_savage
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emptywheel @BobbyChesney Have suspicion they actually ARE collecting VZ wireless bulk now. & govt wants to keep data until Feb @charlie_savage
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emptywheel @BreeBartonYA You can have my heating pad. I've discovered yoga works better.
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