One Way to Hide Section 702 Spying on US Persons

I noted something in the batch of Semiannual Section 702 Assessments I Con the Record released in January that may explain one reason why the government has such problems giving defendants who’ve been captured in Section 702 surveillance the notice required under the law.

Starting with the 14th Assessment — the one released in February 2016, which covers December 2014 to May 2015 (which also began to integrate feedback from PCLOB), the assessments started to reveal that disseminated reports don’t identify where information on a US Person comes from.

23 (C//NF) NSA does not maintain records that allow it to readily determine, in the case of a report that includes information from several sources, from which source a reference to a U.S. person was derived. Accordingly, the references to U.S. person identities may have resulted from collection pursuant to Section 702 or from other authorized signals intelligence activity conducted by NSA that was reported in conjunction with information acquired under Section 702. Thus, the number provided above is assessed to likely be over-inclusive. NSA has previously provided this explanation in its Annual Review pursuant to Section 702(l)(3) that is provided to Congress.

Presumably, the reports track that intelligence in the report comes from Section 702, or else they wouldn’t be able to track how often serialized reports contain US person information derived from Section 702- or PAA-acquired data, which is where this footnote appears. (In this reporting period, 9.7% of reports including US person information.) But they don’t track which tidbits come from 702 and which come from — say — EO 12333 authorized information or foreign partners.

Given that these reports get circulated outside of NSA (and even outside those people cleared into Section 702), that might mean someone with a dual intelligence/law enforcement role would see the information, pursue further investigation, and yet not know that the investigation “derived” from 702 data, which would then mean the defendant might never get notice.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

13 replies
  1. PeasantParty says:

    And circulate IT does! To all sorts of nefarious places. Therefore, what they have done is a crime against this country and it’s citizens.

  2. greengiant says:

    So what happens when it turns out 1) Clapper “lied” again because no one has a need to know, 2)Trump Tower was “wiretapped” by some of the 17 Intelligence agencies for whatever reason like nailing Russian mafia dons 3) people have been feeding Mensch fakenews and 4) someone tipped off Bannon and this is just a set piece public relations campaign.
    OT: A lot of deja vu with the possible false flag “journalists”
    Controlling the narrative, the task of opposition researchers and “public” relations. On any given issue the media is the battleground. Media outlets are captured. Reference sites such as wikipedia and snopes are captured. Mainstream and alt media are full of bought “journalists”. False flag “journalists”, mainstream or alternate are in action. When captured media is the subject matter expert then the narrative is controlled. If opposition media falls for fake news then they are discredited when they convey the real news. The ad hominem attacks come out, the dick pics, the booking shots, libel suits, the litigation, past bad behavior.

  3. jo6pac says:

    That’s good news that others will get the so-called secret docs. It makes it even easier to be quietly taken and put on line for all of us to read. Thanks nsa.

    What’s that password again 123456 we suck;)

  4. PeasantParty says:

    I certainly hope that those Intell Committees on Capital Hill are not using shredders right now.

  5. greengiant says:

    Re: fucking mind… Yah, I wish.
    Example of outing of captured journalist or see Flynn’s Turkey Op-Ed
    http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-a-response-to-neocon-hit-man-roy-gutman/
    I can’t tell which blog/tweeters are secretly working for Trump or Russia. Based on the past some of them are. Beware of cookie drops.
    ad hominem attacks, thanks for the extra example.
    Schindler predicts WH-Russian attacks on journalists March 7, 2017 false flag operation or coinkydink?
    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/ex-nsa-analyst-intel-sources-say-white-house-targeting-journalists-with-help-from-russian-intel/
    regarding gawker porn, Mar 7, 2017, Schindler attacked. On zerohedge for a couple of hours.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-07/former-nsa-analyst-who-tweeted-trump-would-die-jail-deletes-account-after-being-reve deleted, error 404. redacted by “The_Real_Fly”
    http://web.archive.org/web/20170313002753/https:/twitter.com/The_Real_Fly/status/839133823900213248
    Booking shots. Tweets deepcapture.com’s researcher’s booking shot. Read everything deepcapture had to say about this guy and some of the mud thrown back, it is a multi sided story.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20170313003800/https:/twitter.com/gary_weiss/status/834891099063922689
    libel suits, the litigation, past bad behavior, exercise for the reader.
    Alleged message of endearment.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20170313004624/https:/twitter.com/Khanoisseur/status/817505526627975168

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