See, They Just Didn’t KNOW That the NSA IS Listening to Your Phone Calls

Should we just assume that he just hadn’t been read into the whole program as yet, nor had General Alexander, Robert Mueller or Mike Rogers and Diane Feinstein, all of whom said it would take a FISA warrant to be able to listen in once a person’s metadata profile were adequate enough to obtain one?  Yes; that would indicate our trust in the President and the rest of them; that’s what we have been  ordered to do.  Maybe their security clearances aren’t high enough or something.  Does suspicion of Moral Turpitude disqualify a person, for instance?  

In any event, methinks they should read this (ahem) info from C|net, don’t you?  That is, once they get home from a long day of Father’s Day partying.  Or church; whatever.  It seems that Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) heard it very differently during a classified NSA briefing to Congress on June 13. 

From C|net;  the subtitle:  ‘NSA spying extends to contents of U.S. phone calls; National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too’

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.  [snip]

The Washington Post disclosed Saturday that the existence of a top-secret NSA program called NUCLEON, which “intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words” to a database. Top intelligence officials in the Obama administration, the Post said, “have resolutely refused to offer an estimate of the number of Americans whose calls or e-mails have thus made their way into content databases such as ­NUCLEON.” [snip]

That law says surveillance may be authorized by the attorney general and director of national intelligence without prior approval by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as long as minimization requirements and general procedures blessed by the court are followed.

 Remember: a requirement of the 2008 FISA Amendment law is that the NSA “may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States.”

So many links are in the piece; do take a gander.  Warning: beware of Scary Di-Fi photo!  But wait; it’s getting more fun all the time. 

A Guardian exclusive:

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organisation, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.

?Setting up internet cafes where they used an email interception programme and key-logging software to spy on delegates’ use of computers;

?Penetrating the security on delegates’ BlackBerrys to monitor their email messages and phone calls;

?Supplying 45 analysts with a live round-the-clock summary of who was phoning who at the summit;

?Targeting the Turkish finance minister and possibly 15 others in his party;

?Receiving reports from an NSA attempt to eavesdrop on the Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev, as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow.

The documents suggest that the operation was sanctioned in principle at a senior level in the government of the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, and that intelligence, including briefings for visiting delegates, was passed to British ministers.

 The Wiki entry on the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is here.  Ah; spooks and spies…keeping us safe from…what was it, again?   I’m sure all the leaders at the G-20 will take it all in stride, though.  A lot of the comments at the Guardian piece indicated: ‘yawn; that’s what spies do, isn’t it?’

 Should we start a petition to the NSA to ask that all these folks be read into the various NSA programs…so it won’t seem like they’re just lying to us?

 Oh, and Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

(by Anthony Freda via wendyedavis @flickr)

(cross-posted  at

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