NSA round-up

The Obama administration’s “dense pack” of scandals, together with my busy schedule of late, has kept me from keeping up-to-date on the NSA scandal. I’ve been meaning to comment on all of these, but I think it’s time just to dump all the links:

  • The NSA keeps everything it collects for some time, whether it is foreign or domestic. Also, they are permitted to listen to your calls to find out whether they are permitted to listen to your calls. (Link)
  • Thus, when Obama said “no one is listening to your calls,” that was a lie. (Link)
  • The NSA’s program may well be illegal. (Link)
  • The NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year. (Link)
  • The NSA “accidentally” collected telephone call data on the entire 202 area code (Washington, DC), and then decided that it need not report the error to its oversight staff. (Link)
  • The chief on the FISA court admits that he does not have the means to police the NSA’s actions, and he has to assume they are telling him the truth. (Link)
  • Nevertheless, the FISA court did rule that the NSA broke the law in collecting communications of innocent Americans from 2008 to 2011. The opinion also reprimanded the NSA for a “substantial misrepresentation” of its activities. (Link)
  • The White House tried to interfere with the Washington Post’s reporting on the NSA. (Link)
  • The NSA doesn’t have any idea how much damage Snowden did, and because it doesn’t audit its employees activities (surveillance is for us, not them!) they have no way to find out. (Link)
  • The NSA review panel consists of four insiders. (Link)
  • Of the 18 thousand domestic telephone numbers the NSA monitored, just 11% met the necessary legal standard to be monitored. (Link)
  • NSA employees use the NSA’s surveillance powers to spy on love interests so often, they have a term for it: LOVEINT. (A play on intelligence terms such as HUMINT and SIGINT.) (Link)
  • No one has ever been prosecuted for LOVEINT. (Link)

I’ll save one more for the next post.

(Previous post.)

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