September 18, 2016 / by emptywheel

 

Exigent Letters

July 2002: CAU formed

March 14, 2003: First exigent letter issued in NY

May 2003: First contract with telecom for onsite exigent assistance

March 2004: Last contract with telecom for onsite exigent assistance

February 2, 2005: Operation W NSL signed; Tracker database attempted

February 2006: Procedures to verify factual accuracy of FISA applications

May 12, 2006: First blanket NSL (for Company B)

May 17, 2006: Assistant General Counsel sends email regarding exigent letters (leads to OGC “learning” of practice)

July 5, 2006: Second blanket NSL

August 2, 2006: AGC sends follow-up on exigent letters blanket NSL for Company B

September 18, 2006: Youssef cancels hot number service from Company C

September 21, 2006: Third blanket NSL

October 10, 2006: Company B changes policy on exigent letters to require SSA to say it is emergency involving death or serious injury.

November 7, 2006: AGC sends email to Valerie Caproni on blanket NSL, heads up for IG investigation

February 22, 2007: AGC tells Youssef the blanket NSLs may be PIOBs, need to be reported within 14 days

March 1, 2007: FBI draws up new guidelines, requiring factual predicate and limiting people who can authorize exigent letters

March 9, 2007: IG Report on NSLs including “any illegal and improper use” in 2003 though 2005

June 1, 2007: FBI Guidance on who could sign NSLs

August 28, 2007: First OLC request to approve exigent letters.

October 12, 2007: SSCI staffer writes (PDF 7) to Ben Powell at NSA stating

… you indicated that the Oversight sectlon (section o) would be problemat¡c lf the DOJ lG was empowered to review NSA’ss compliance with acquisition and minimization procedures

October 31, 2007: FBI tells IOB it will send letter on blanket NSLs and purge all illegally acquired information.

November 2007: FBI issues draft guidance on Community of Interest requests.

December 2007 to January 2008: Telecom personnel move out of CAU.

January 11, 2008: FBI issues new protocol for requesting phone records.

February 29, 2008: Bush guts the Intelligence Advisory Board, stripping it of investigative ability and oversight over IGs.

March 13, 2008: IG Report on NSLs, assessing corrective actions of FBI and describing NSL usage in 2006

March 14, 2008: SSCI staffer states they would prefer to have Intelligence Inspector General conduct IG Review of warrantless wiretap program (suggesting opposition to Glenn Fine) (PDF 81)

November 5, 2008: OLC issues opinion in response to August 28, 2007 request

January 16, 2009: OLC issues a response on whether Acting DADs and other Acting officials could sign NSLs

March 31, 2009: FBI formally informs IAB of NSL problems

August 17, 2009: Obama appoints Chuck Hagel to IAB.

October 29, 2009: Obama restores investigative ability to Intelligence Advisory Board

January 20, 2010: IG Report on exigent letters

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