Did NSA Add a New Dragnet Provider with Its Latest Order?
Cryptome has published the latest phone dragnet order. Contrary to reports, the dragnet order is only for two months (until the end of August), not until the expiration of the bulk dragnet in November, plus retroactive collection to May 31. It also has new language reflecting changes in minimization requirements in USA Freedom Act, and updated language to reflect the Second Circuit’s decision in a paragraph ordering that the government inform FISC if anything changes because of the pending circuit court decisions.
But the most interesting change has to do with the redactions.
The initial redaction (which lists all the providers) is not the same size — the new order, 15-75, has a wider redaction than the last order, 15-24, but the earlier order may be a line longer. But it is very close.
But the paragraph addressing custodians of records is clearly different. Here’s what that first few lines in that paragraph in 15-24 looks like:
Here’s what it looks like in 15-75.
The following paragraph, which addresses Verizon, appears to be the same.
There are two things that might explain the change in redaction. First, the providers may remain the same (understood to be AT&T and Sprint), but the official name used to refer to one may have changed — though I’m not aware of any changes at AT&T or Sprint that might explain that.
Or, they may have added another provider.
Mind you, I expect the government to add new providers once they move to the new querying technique in November, as the government will almost certainly be querying more newfangled kinds of “calls” and “texts” (to include VOIP and other Internet-based communications). So I think additional providers are inevitable.
Still, at least from the redactions of this order, it appears NSA may have already added a new provider.