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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

All Snowden documents will be released this month

At least it will distract the public from the mess at the border and the IRS scandal. If one assumes someone in the White House follows Twitter rather than just tweeting Obama and company must be in near panic. There is a hint that this time the leaked documents will identify the private citizens who have been spied upon by the NSA.
I think the Roberts Court made itself clear as to how it feels about individual privacy in the cell phone case which Obama lost 9-0. If you want to look at private data get a warrant.
Update: This Techdirt post, FBI, CIA Use Backdoor Searches To Warrentlessly Spy On Americans' Communications portends another bad week for Obama.
The other shoe just dropped when it comes to how the federal government illegally spies on Americans. Last summer, the details of the NSA's "backdoor searches" were revealed. This involved big collections of content and metadata (so, no, not "just metadata" as meaningless as that phrase is) that were collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). This is part of the program that the infamous PRISM effort operates under, and which allows the NSA to collect all sorts of content, including communications to, from or about a "target" -- where a "target" can be incredibly loosely defined (i.e., it can include groups or machines or just about anything). The "backdoor searches" were a special loophole added in 2011 allowing the NSA to make use of "US person names and identifiers as query terms." In the past, it had been limited (as per the NSA's mandate) to only non-US persons.
This morning, James Clapper finally responded to a request from Senator Ron Wyden concerning the number of such backdoor searches using US identifiers that were done by various government agencies. And, surprisingly, it's redaction free. The big reveal is... that it's not just the NSA doing these searches, but the CIA and FBI as well. This is especially concerning with regards to the FBI. This means that the FBI, who does surveillance on Americans, is spying on Americans communications that were collected by the NSA and that they're doing so without anything resembling a warrant. Oh, and let's make this even worse: the FBI isn't even tracking how often it does this. It's just doing it willy nilly:

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