I noted this yesterday in a quick post, but I wanted to post the video and my transcription of Mark Warner’s efforts to lay out some of the privacy problems with HR 3361, which I call USA Freedumber.
Warner, who made his fortune as a telecom mogul, points out that USA Freedumber will be able to access calls from smaller cell companies that are currently not included as primary providers to NSA (he doesn’t mention it, but USA Freedumber will also be able to access VOIP).
Warner: It was reported when we think about 215 in the previous program that that collected metadata that was with those entities — those companies — that entered into some relationship with the IC, and I believe there was a February WSJ article that reported — and I don’t want to get into percentages here — that while the large entities, large companies were involved, that in many cases, the fastest growing set of telephone calls, wireless calls, were actually a relatively small percentage. Is that an accurate description of how the press has presented the 215 program prior — previously?
Ledgett: Yes, that’s how the press represented it.
Warner: And if that was an accurate presentation, wouldn’t the universe of calls that are now potentially exposed to these kind of inquiries be actually dramatically larger since any telco, regardless of whether they had a relationship with the IC or not, and any type of call, whether it is wire or wireless, be subject to the inquiries that could be now made through this new process.
Ledgett: Uh Yes, Senator, that’s accurate.
Warner: So, again, with the notion here that under the guise of further protecting privacy, I think on a factual basis, of the number of calls potentially scrutinized, the universe will be exponentially larger than what the prior system was. Is that an accurate statement.
Ledgett: No, Senator, I don’t believe so, because the only calls that the government will see are those that are directly responsive to to the predicate information that we have.
Warner: No, In terms of actual inquiries, correct, but the the universe of potential calls that you could query, when prior to the calls were only queried out of the 215 database that was held at the NSA, which as press reports said did not include — in many cases — the fastest growing number of new calls, wireless calls, now the universe of — even though the number of queries may be the same, because the protections are still the same, the actual universe of potential calls that could be queried against is dramatically larger than what 215 has right now.
Ledgett: Potentially yes, that’s right Senator.
From there, Warner focuses on a more troubling issue: the likelihood that NSA could get cell location data and call detail records with the same request. Read more