The real key here is the USFISC (The Court) findings about what went on in the Intelligence, FBI and Justice during the past 6 or so years about use of certain data swept up by the NSA as part of its work. I know this document is long and full of legal explanations, but you should read beginning on pg. 14 where the court begins to outline issues with use of data collected by the NSA. Begin at C. near the bottom of page 14. Notice when and what agency notified the Court and the Courts ‘substantial concern’ over this issue. Move to page 19 and 3. “Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702. The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.” The number of users and inquiries are redacted but it may be more than 10 users and more than 100 inquires. The Court said this “At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government’s failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an institutional “lack of candor” on NSA’s part and emphasized that “this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.””
Now page 20, number 4. “A separate OCO review, limited in many of the same ways as the IG studies, and covering the periods of April through December 2015 and April through July of 2016, found that some ### improper queries were conducted by ## analysts during those periods.” Notice the dates, especially April through July 2016. Now to page 21 where the Court states “The government still had not ascertained the full range of systems that might have been used to conduct improper U.S.-person queries.”
Next, page 34. I quote the Court “Accordingly, the Court is ordering that raw information obtained by NSA’s upstream Internet collection under Section 702 shall not be provided to FBI, CIA or NCTC unless it is done pursuant to revised minimization procedures that are adopted by the AG and DNI and submitted to the FISC for review in conformance with Section 702.”
They seem concerned about what departments using this data. Reference page 68, A 1. “Failure of Access Controls in FBI’s (department left redacted).” Read this all and footnote 57 at the bottom of the page. Next to page 81 where we start at 2.
- Improper Querying (redacted) Communications
“In May and June 2016, NSA reported to oversight personnel in the ODNI and DOJ that, since approximately 2012, use of(redacted) to query communications in (redacted) had resulted in inadvertent violations of the above-described querying rules for Section 702 information”. Move on to page 82, it’s gets better. When and what percent of inquiries were non-compliant? Oh my, was that 85%? And what else did the Court say? “While the government reports that it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of the number of non-compliant queries since 2012, id., there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015-April 2016 period coincided with an unusually high error rate.”
Lets head to page 83, shall we. Under a descriptive title “Improper Disclosures of Raw Information” we find lots of interesting issues regarding the FBI’s handling of data. The best is on page 85 where we find the FBI. “(Redacted) however, is not a federal agency and the (redacted) personnel who worked with the information were “not directly supervised by or otherwise under the direction and control of Compliance Report at 132. For these reasons, the government concluded that the FBI had given the information to the private entity (redacted) not to an assisting federal agency.” Wonder who (redacted) was? “The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported.”
Page 87 now where the Court brings up other (redacted) instances of issues with data sharing and makes specific recommendations for having this practice stopped, oh I mean become compliant with the 4th Amendment.
This document was made public sometime after its publication 26 April 2017. There are some people in Congress, I believe the ‘Gang of Eight’, who can read it in full. Rep. Nunes, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee could read this in full without redaction. The NSA made the report of 26 Oct 2016 to the court which is a major reason raised by the Court. Who was the head if the NSA at the time; Admiral Mike Rogers. Who ran the FBI during the periods mentioned? Who ran the CIA and who was DNI? Who has the most to lose if it the truth is brought to light? Who goes on TV making prognostications of impending doom? Maybe they don’t want anyone to know just exactly who and what was searched for in these instances and who may have been the recipients of this information.
If you want to quibble about punctuation or how I quoted this or that go ahead. Many will say “Well the Court allowed the program to continue, so?”. Ok, but what about what the Court said about compliance? I know those who travel in ‘good company’ don’t want to even entertain any thoughts or ideas that may force ‘good career employees’ of the DOJ/FBI, CIA, NSA and DNI to lose their careers of their reputations. Many will not even entertain the idea that anything may have occurred. These same people said nothing about other investigations until it was obvious that there were ‘issues’. Maybe some person of integrity will stand up and save the reputations of so many ‘good people’ by providing evidence of orders from above. It would let the ‘good career employees’ to save face and claim they were just following orders. Who else used that argument? Oh yes, Adolf Eichmann. Very nice, very nice
The document referenced is below.