Originally posted by AR154
The key thing to remember is that this is warrantless. No permission, no oversight. I'm of the belief that they're already doing this anyway and have
since 9/11, so god knows what they're up to if there's now a 'public' bill for it. It wouldn't have to be limited to 'terrorism' - infact, terrorism
could be anything they want it to be.
But of course they are. We've BEEN doing it. It happens a lot. Not totally, to be sure, and there's some quid pro quo that goes on, but sure, it
happens and has been.
How, you may ask. Well, I'm pretty sure there's a couple of things going on.
One, I knew a guy from one of your intelligence groups who said they could intercept any internal electronic communication. Not so much deep
interpretation like Echelon, but that they could do something more CALEA like and just divert email traffic or phone calls to a monitoring point if
they decided to sniff through your private life.
But more directly, UKUSA provides for it. We both milk that cow. If MI5 needs someone in GB surveilled, all they have to do is let us know and it will
happen. The upside of that is that there ARE no laws that say the US can't spy on Brits at the behest of the British government, so if your JIC gives
us a list and asks us to forward them everything Nigel is doing, we'll be happy to oblige. By treaty law, we can divulge this info to YOU, as long as
you don't acquire it yourself you can use it internally.
The same way, if there are US citizens we'd like to snoop on and we can't just get a warrant because all the conspirators are US citizens, and thus
you can't get a FISA warrant, we just ask YOU guys to use our shared parts of Echelon to do it. You spy on our citizens, and through the same treaty
law, if YOU provide us info, it is actionable, even if we asked you to do it.
The holdup is that by disclosing who you want us to spy on, and vice versa, it's usually something juicy going on internal to the upper levels of the
other side's gubmint, and thus to ask the other guys is to expose something they will naturally be interested in, so for the most part it doesn't
happen as often as it could.
This is one reason we have shared facilities - e.g. Pine Gap. It's not because Alice Springs is the garden spot of central Australia. Trust me. True,
we need a ground facility in the area to monitor China. And there are "my country only" sections in the facility, but a lot of it is happily shared
like two toddlers with a toy truck.
edit on 1-4-2012 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)