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Sunday, September 08, 2013

In 2011, Obama freed NSA from restraints on domestic spying that Dubya requested in 2008

You will search this WaPo story, entitled "Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011," without success for any mention of the Forty-Third President of the United States of America, even though his administration did not depart the White House until January 20, 2009. And yet:

The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years — and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used.

I think my post's headline above ought to have been the Washington Post's headline too — but surely somewhere in this report, they ought to have at least acknowledged the contrasting positions of the only two post-9/11 administrations.

Posted by Beldar at 03:40 PM in Global War on Terror, Law (2013), Mainstream Media, SCOTUS & federal courts | Permalink


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(1) ColoComment made the following comment | Sep 9, 2013 2:35:54 PM | Permalink

Not sure if this is all the same documents, etc., ref'd in the WaPo article, but in any case, it should be fun to read these ops (if they're not too redacted.) Excerpt:

"The Justice Department conceded last week in a court filing in a FOIA case, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports, that it will release: “[O]rders and opinions of the FISC issued from January 1, 2004, to June 6, 2011, that contain a significant legal interpretation of the government’s authority or use of its authority under Section 215; and responsive ‘significant documents, procedures, or legal analyses incorporated into FISC opinions or orders and treated as binding by the Department of Justice or the National Security Agency.’”

I have only skimmed the whole Lawfare post by Wittes, but note that he says that the NSA activities are legal per current Constitutional doctrine re: 4A and info/records kept by third parties. My feeling is that if standing is satisfied [somehow, by someone] SCOTUS will catch that doctrine up to the current state of personal data searching/seizing via 21st century technology. At least I sure hope so. This simply is no longer your landline, twisty-corded, desk telephone world.


(2) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Sep 14, 2013 4:18:13 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: More proof of how bigoted the press is. No wonder they are pushing for a federal "shield" law for themselves and the hell with everyone else. Can't win in open competition, so let the govt knock out the competitors the easy way.

The irksome trait in today's press is the mass exodus of journalists to working for govt. Jay Carney is only the most notorious example. Given that, how tough is their reporting on The Won's shenanigans likely to be?

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

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