Reforming FISA and the NSA: Close the NSA’s Reagan-Era Collection Loophole

Sans fear-mongering
Opinion • Views: 16,342

Marc Ambinder has a good post looking at some concrete ways in which the NSA and FISA courts can be reformed for more transparency and better privacy protection: Close the NSA’s Reagan-Era Collection Loophole.

Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mark Udall, D-Colo., object to NSA’s newly acquired permission to analyze anything that is legally collected under the FISA authorities, including inadvertently collected U.S. persons data. Both senators have proposed an amendment to subject all U.S. persons’ data to an equal standard of legal review, including all of the incidental or accidentally acquired information. This would end the practice of running U.S. persons emails and phone numbers (already on an approved list of selectors — a selector is a piece of identifying information — against any American without an order.

To be clear, NSA hasn’t been randomly running your email or my phone number against the over-collected U.S. persons data; you or I would have already have had to find our way onto a list that is subject is to supervisory level approval. Still, the predicate half of the data is not sufficiently protected, and it ought to be. Again, this is a relatively new practice, so Congress could decide to forbid it entirely or it could pass the Wyden-Udall amendment. The “back-door loophole” would be closed.

The biggest, warranted objection to NSA collection relates to telephone records that companies give to NSA — that is, all of them, and what NSA is able to do with those records. The concern is about subjecting a defined subset of phone records to “contact chaining,” which means automatically sweeping within the call records of Americans without any connection to anything wrongdoing, and without a court order. The intelligence community wants to be able to do this, and says it is extremely valuable. But it represents a direct, if not particularly gruesome, violation of Americans’ expectation of what the government should and should not see. That this analysis is done by computers, without any set of eyes, is only slightly mitigating. There are dozens of ways to square this circle, including the imposition of a special master, a guardian of the information, to hold the data along with automatic oversight protocols. Or perhaps the companies can do the call-chaining themselves, subject to some sort of court-supervised arrangement. Or, the practice could be written out of the law and NSA could be given much more selective access to phone records, albeit with a much expedited process to match the speed of its intelligence requirements. Several bills, including one introduced by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., would require the government to narrow the scope of its requests for data, even down to the level of a specific investigation.

As always, you should read the whole thing.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Nduduzo Makhathini - UmlothaMusic video by Nduduzo Makhathini performing Umlotha. © 2020 Universal Music (Pty) Ltd South Africa vevo.ly
Thanos
1 day, 22 hours ago
Views: 259 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 7 •
Brian Eno - Decline and Fall (From ‘O Nome Da Morte’) The official music video for "Decline and Fall”, a track from the new album “Film Music 1976 - 2020”, is a cinematic collaboration between Brian Eno and acclaimed Brazilian film director Henrique Goldman which contemplates rain and fire, fiction ...
Thanos
5 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 613 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 •
Brian Eno - Like I Was a Spectator 'Like I Was A Spectator', a brand new track by Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois and Roger Eno from ‘Apollo – Atmospheres & Soundtracks – Extended Edition’. The video was created using rare N.A.S.A. footage.Order now: brianeno.lnk.to Follow Brian ...
Thanos
5 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 493 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 •
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 201115After two really sunny and swell days since Eta left, Saturday was a mix of mostly sun and a bit of rain.We still managed to be really productive both days anyway. Got all the lava rock washed and shoveled into ...
dangerman
6 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 719 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 6
Tweets: 0 •
Michael Kiwanuka - Solid Ground (Live at the V&A) Listen to the Mercury Prize winning album ’KIWANUKA' now: michaelkiwanuka.lnk.to Michael Kiwanuka performing Solid Ground taken from the Mercury Prize winning album 'KIWANUKA' live at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. Sign up to Michael's mailing list: michaelkiwanuka.lnk.toFollow ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 803 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 •
Deep Sea Diver - Impossible Weight Featuring Sharon Van Etten (Official Video) “Impossible Weight” off Deep Sea Diver’s new album 'Impossible Weight' out now. Order 'Impossible Weight' here smarturl.it Distributed by ATO Records ~~~~~~~~~ Directors: Jessica Dobson, Peter Mansen, Tyler KalbergArt direction: Jessica Dobson, Tyler KalbergDirector of photography: Tyler KalbergCamera operator ...
Thanos
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 979 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 •
Black Pumas - ‘I’m Ready’ (Timelapse Mural Video) Artist: Aaron Darling Videographer/Editor: Don RayFilmed at: Native Hostel - Austin, TXSong: Black Pumas - I'm Ready “I'm Ready” is available on the deluxe edition of the Black Pumas’ debut album, out everywhere now - smarturl.it "I'm Ready" (Official ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 1,168 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 •
Jackie Venson on Austin City Limits ‘Back to Earth’ Jackie Venson performs "Back to Earth" on Austin City Limits. Her episode premieres November 14, 2020 on PBS. Check your local listings for details. About the EpisodeEnjoy innovative Austin rock & roll from Jackie Venson, plus a vintage 2012 ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 958 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 5 •
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 201108 Saturday we started washing lava rock then Eta came in with the fury of a tropical storm. Something ironic about getting out of the rain while we were getting soaked from the power washer.Electricity and all we thought it ...
dangerman
1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 1,037 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 0 •
David Bowie - the Man Who Sold the World [2020 Mix] [Official Lyric Video] Official lyric video for David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World [2020 Mix]. Order Metrobolist on CD and LP now: lnk.to Subscribe now: bit.ly Read more about David Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold The World' and how it ...
Thanos
1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 1,306 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 •