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View Diary: Former FISA Judge Breaks Ranks (475 comments)

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  •  Not quite true. (0+ / 0-)

    While I have absolutely no problem with even more oversight, NSA programs such as PRISM have already been receiving bi-partisan oversight from the Legislative branch, the Executive branch and from FISA courts.

    I'm certainly open to even more oversight so long as OPSEC is maintained and you don't have dolts leaking information for political reasons.

    Please proceed, Governor.

    by USArmyParatrooper on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:42:12 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not verifiable by anyone other (17+ / 0-)

      than agency.  While Congress can rely on what NSA says, for example, they can't independently verify the accuracy of what it is told.  For example, the only reason Clapper got caught was Snowden's disclosure.

      He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

      by Publius2008 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:52:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does any warrant, FISA or otherwise? (0+ / 0-)

        If you're being investigated for a crime there's a good chance the police department will request a warrant to check your phone records, search your home, check your emails, or even to seize your computer.  

        Who checks the validity of their claims when requesting a warrant, and is such a thing even feasible?

        What is it you recommend? As I said, I am all for checks and balances so long as it doesn't hinder legitimate investigations and so long as necessary secrecy is maintained.

        Please proceed, Governor.

        by USArmyParatrooper on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:58:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ultimately, transparency is the best check (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, jayden, aliasalias

          There should be no problem with declassifying warrants after, say, two years. Yes, certain elements having to do with sources and methods must remain secret. But after two years, most cases should have been resolved either through arrest, assassination, or dismissal. For that matter, defense counsel should be given the information.

          If judges know that their reasoning may be subject to scrutiny, they'll be less likely to rubberstamp approvals. Transparency is imperfect, but in this case, it's the best likely solution.

          The other solution, one that Judge Robertson suggested (and that Rep. Cohen is seeking to legislate), is for there to be an adversarial proceeding. But if there's secrecy, then the adversary can be captured and subverted. Like the FEC, just because the two parties appoint people is no guarantee of independence.

      •  So what are you proposing? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        An independent IG makes annual "audits" of what is going on?  I could see that, but for national security reasons, he might still limit his report to the Congress rather than the public at large, so it wouldn't do much to appease public skepticism. :/

    •  not quite true either (11+ / 0-)

      amongst the revelations brought to light by snowden was the lack of oversite of much of the program.

      from emptywheel

      First, note that the Oversight and Compliance Office appears to be within NSA’s operational division, not part of the Inspector General’s Office. This means it reports up through the normal chain of command. And, presumably, its actions are not required to be shared with Congress. The IG, by contrast, has some statutory independence. And its activities get briefed to Congress.

      In other words, this initial check on the metadata usage appears to be subject to managerial control.

      But my other worry is even bigger. See where the descriptions talk about the fancy banner? The description says nothing about how that log-in process relates to the audit trail created for these searches. Indeed, in both of these documents, “the NSA” “creates” the audit trails. They don’t appear to be generated automatically, as they easily could be and should be.

      - See more at:

      this is fairly interesting as well:

      but here's what snowden said:

      More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same. The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time. Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications. For at least GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only 5% of those performed.

      Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

      by greenbastard on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:54:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly what is the oversight? (6+ / 0-)
      NSA programs such as PRISM have already been receiving bi-partisan oversight from the Legislative branch, the Executive branch and from FISA courts.
      If Congress objects to something, then what?    Just being briefed is not oversight.

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