FISA Court Documents Reveal Just How Little the NSA Cares About Your Privacy
The National Security Agency is not only collecting all your personal data, it’s also sharing that information with other government agencies. And let’s face it, this has nothing to do with terrorism.
Documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court declassified Monday night show the extent to which the NSA is “over-collecting” as well as disseminating Americans’ personal data. Even the currently presiding judge, Reggie Walton, called the sneaky agency’s truthfulness into question as early as 2009. Though the NSA’s tendency toward fudging the truth has become painfully apparent to those of us following leak after leak describing the NSA’s God-complex, Walton has been “seriously concerned” about U.S. citizens’ emails becoming accessible to “outside agencies” under the guise of fighting terrorism for quite some time. The counterterrorism program has since been canceled, but concerns regarding Americans’ privacy are ever-relevant today.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi
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[In one] Fisa court document, the current presiding judge, Reggie Walton, blasted the government’s secret declaration that it followed USSID 18 “rather than specifically requiring that the narrower dissemination provision set forth in the Court’s orders in this matter be strictly adhered to”.
Walton wrote: “The court understands this to mean that the NSA likely has disseminated US person information derived from the [email and internet bulk] metadata outside NSA without a prior determination from the NSA official designated in the court’s orders that the information is related to counter-terrorism information and is necessary to understand the counter-terrorism information or assess its importance.”
In an opinion apparently written in June 2009, Walton said the court was “gravely concerned” that “NSA analysts, cleared and otherwise, have generally not adhered to the dissemination restrictions proposed by the government, repeatedly relied on by the court in authorizing the [email and internet bulk] metadata, and incorporated into the court’s orders in this matter [redacted] as binding on NSA.”
Walton said the NSA’s legal team had failed to satisfy the training requirements that NSA frequently points to in congressional testimony as demonstrating its scrupulousness. Walton added that he was “seriously concerned” by the placement of Americans’ email and internet metadata into “databases accessible by outside agencies, which, as the government has acknowledged, violates not only the court’s orders, but also NSA’s minimization and dissemination procedures as set forth in USSID 18.”
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