Edward Snowden Richard Burr Exposes IP Address Dragnet on Senate Floor
Update: As I show in this post, the transcription of Burr’s speech in the Congressional record removed the reference to IP addresses.
Update: While Burr’s office did not respond to my request for comment, they did respond to Buzzfeed (which sadly didn’t ask the obvious follow-up questions). His office claims he misspoke, though apparently didn’t explain why he would confuse Section 215 and PRTT, why he would tie the Internet dragnet to phone calls, or why, if the current dragnet doesn’t collect Internet data but USA F-ReDux would, why that would not then be a welcome return for the Senator given his stated desire to track such collection. I have asked for comment again from Burr’s office on those questions.
Since last summer, I have been emphasizing that the bulk of Section 215 orders collect Internet data, not phone records under the phone dragnet. I pointed to evidence that that production included data flows and noted FBI claims they use it to conduct hacking investigations. But I have assumed that was primarily bulky collection, not bulk collection.
Now what’s bulk data? Bulk data is storing telephone numbers and IP addresses — we have no idea who they belong to — that are domestic. And the whole basis behind this program is that as a cell phone is picked up in Syria, and you look at the phone numbers that phone talked to, if there’s some in the United States we’d like to know that — at least law enforcement would like to know it — so that we can understand if there’s a threat against us here in the homeland [sic] or somewhere else in the world. So Section 215 allows the NSA to collect in bulk telephone numbers and IP addresses with no identifier on it. We couldn’t tell you who that American might be.
I thought when you leaked details like this it helped our enemies? I thought if you did such things you were a traitor, deserving of an orange jumpsuit at Gitmo?
So it appears it’s the IP dragnet, and not the phone dragnet, that the Republicans are trying to save?
It’s a little late for that, though, given that the Second Circuit just ruled such dragnets illegal.