NSA is Giving FBI Illegal Data on a Daily Basis

NSA is Giving FBI Illegal Data on a Daily Basis

Turns out that the NSA is providing the FBI with ‘tips’ every day from information they’ve illegally collected from the American people.  What kinds of tips, you ask?  All that metadata that you thought was no big deal.  The problem with metadata, as we’ve explained before, is that it paints a picture of you that is actually far more accurate than sitting on your phone listening to all your calls.

With this information, the government knows not only where you go, what you buy, and who you talk to.  It also knows with a reasonable amount of accuracy where you will be at any given time based on what they know about your schedule.  It knows who you will run to if you need help (or if you’re being chased by the government’s helpful thugs).  It knows what you know, based on what you read in the library, what you see on the internet.  With that information, it can (and does) make a determination as to whether you’re a threat to the regime.  If you are found to be one of those nasty dissidents, the government has a very large storage bin of information on you that can be used to remove you.  There are so many laws on the books that you are guaranteed to break them every single day.  At that point it’s simply a question of matching up all that data with whatever trumped up law they have.

Do you really think a government that disregards the Constitution so blatantly will care about things like speedy trials in front of juries, or cruel and unusual punishments, or anything else?  History says no.

Even more disturbing is the knowledge that way back in 2009, the FISA court “required the NSA to only access the vast metadata archive when there is a ‘reasonable, articulable suspicion [RAS] that the telephone identifier is associated with [REDACTED]'”.  Now, you may assume that the REDACTED part refers to some foreign terrorist threat. But does it?  You don’t know.  That could just as easily say “conservatives,” or “Christianity,” or “The Tea Party” or “gun owners” or anything else.  It doesn’t matter what’s under that REDACTED label, however, because the NSA admits that it didn’t stick to the rules anyway.

since the earliest days of the FISC-authorized collection of call-detail records by the NSA, the NSA has, on a daily basis, accessed the BR metadata for purposes of comparing thousands of non-RAS approved telephone identifiers on its alert list against the BR metadata in order to identify any matches. Such access was prohibited by the governing minimization procedures under each of the relevant Court orders, as the government concedes in its submission.

In other words, yeah, so?

In related news, disconnecting your computer from the internet doesn’t even work anymore; the NSA can get into those too.  The NSA gave a statement saying that “Continuous and selective publication of specific techniques and tools used by the NSA to pursue legitimate foreign intelligence targets is detrimental to the security of the United States and our allies.”  As another intel professional I know would agree, giving away the “sources and methods” is the ultimate no-no.   Actually, never mind that.  Giving away sources and methods isn’t the ultimate no-no.  Violating the unalienable, God-given rights of American citizens is.

Also…check out Matt Blaze’s article on NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit, and why targeted operations are actually far better than the dragnet currently in place.  Finally…security expert Bruce Schneier has an NSA Exploit of the Day feature on his site, where he explains something out of the TAO catalog and why you should care about it.  If you don’t understand why this is a big deal, just go post your credit report on Facebook.


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