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Court Order That Allowed NSA Surveillance is Revealed for First Time

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posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 02:09 PM
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www.commondreams.org...


In a heavily redacted opinion Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the former presiding judge of the Fisa court, placed legal weight on the methods of surveillance employed by the NSA , which had never before collected the internet data of “an enormous volume of communications”.

The methods, known as pen registers and trap-and-trace devices, record the incoming and outgoing routing information of communications – traditionally phone calls made between individual users. Kollar-Kotelly ruled that acquiring the metadata, and not the content, of email and internet usage in bulk was harmonious with the “purpose” of Congress and prior court rulings – even though no surveillance statute ever authorized it and top officials at the justice department and the FBI threatened to resign in 2004 over what they considered its dubious legality.




The legal status of the internet metadata program was highly controversial. In March 2004 several justice department and FBI individuals threatened to resign – including James Comey, George W Bush’s deputy attorney general and now Barack Obama’s FBI director – if the Bush White House and NSA persisted in authorizing the program over their objections that the internet metadata bulk collection was insufficiently legally grounded.





A senior intelligence official, Shawn Turner of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the Guardian in July that the Obama administration shut down the bulk internet metadata collection program in 2011 “for operational and resource reasons” and it had not been restarted.




The release comes at the beginning of an important week in Washington for the NSA’s bulk phone records collection. On Thursday the NSA deputy director is scheduled to testify before a Senate panel that is considering a bill to strip the surveillance agency of its power to collect phone data from Americans without individual warrants. Legislators are also discussing attaching surveillance restrictions to an annual defence authorization bill that the Senate is taking up this week.


This is all so over my head but not so much as I don't realize it's importance. I also realize that once this was let out of the box (say around 2004 by these records - interesting that they redacted the date on some of the released documents) a system like this takes on a life of it's own.

I wonder too if phone data and internet data are the same? Or if the establishment considers them different in the sense of law.

Interesting too is that the original FISA decision/opinion grants the authority not on privacy grounds but technological ones. That the system proposed cannot be specific - it has to collect all or nothing.

Since when does a 'technology' have standing in court?

As I said, no savy nada.
edit on 11/19/2013 by tothetenthpower because: --Mod Edit--Fixed title.




posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 02:23 PM
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remember that a courts ability to do its job assumes its understanding of the subject matter - something witch modern technology with its rapid developments and advancements is very hard to keep up with. And the authority's know full well it can get away with whatever it wants with enough jargon will blind most courts to its true purpose.

The NSA has and will continue to get what it wants.



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 


S&F. The points you raise:




Interesting too is that the original FISA decision/opinion grants the authority not on privacy grounds but technological ones. That the system proposed cannot be specific - it has to collect all or nothing.

Since when does a 'technology' have standing in court?


are so valid!!

This whole thing about the metadata collection is so interesting because it makes one wonder - were costs offset by flowing this information to corporations? Corporations selling something or just selling themselves would find this incredibly useful in a mass marketing yet individually tuneable kind of way. That would, of course, be terribly illegal - that kind of sharing. (Not even mentioning the illegality of the whole thing!)

Your point is the most interesting, though. Makes it seem like it was allowed because the technology existed to do it. What convoluted thinking that is!



posted on Nov, 19 2013 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by Biigs
 


They also use that to their advantage in criminal and civil court proceedings as well. They pay a witness to spout some technical BS that no one understands, if they are convincing enough. Bingo.



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