Media blackout: It’s not just the NSA sneaking things our a PR backdoor, but the entire government has voted on and passed legislation within the past two weeks that has drastically increased the Federal Government’s online surveillance and data retention practices.

Saturday, December 27, 2014
By Paul Martin
December 27th, 2014

The NSA quietly dropped 12 years worth of internal reports on Christmas Eve, including reports that were illegally withheld and the subject of a FOIA lawsuit in 2009.

NSA Reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB)
Executive Summary

Following a classification review, the National Security Agency (NSA) is releasing in redacted form NSA reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB). The release includes quarterly reports submitted from the fourth quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2013. The materials also include four annual reports (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) which are consolidations of the relevant quarterly reports.

Executive Order 12333, as amended, requires Intelligence Community elements to report to the IOB, in a manner consistent with Executive Order 13462, as amended, intelligence activities they have reason to believe may be unlawful or contrary to Executive Order or Presidential Directive. These reports are also provided to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In general, each NSA report contains similar categories of information, including an overview of recent oversight activities conducted by NSA’s Office of the Inspector General and the Office of the General Counsel; signals intelligence activities affecting certain protected categories; and descriptions of specific incidents which may have been unlawful or contrary to applicable policies. The vast majority of compliance incidents involve unintentional technical or human error. In the very few cases that involve the intentional misuse of a signals intelligence system, a thorough investigation is completed, the results are reported to the IOB and the Department of Justice as required, and appropriate disciplinary or administrative action is taken (a publicly available letter from NSA’s Inspector General to Senator Charles E. Grassley on September 11, 2013, discussed twelve instances of intentional misuse that occurred between January 1, 2003 and September 11, 2013).

NSA goes to great lengths to ensure compliance with the Constitution, laws and regulations. As conveyed in the released materials, an array of technical and human-based checks attempt to identify and correct errors, some amount of which occur naturally in any large, complex system. Nevertheless, as the IOB reports make clear, NSA takes even unintentional errors seriously and institutes corrective action, typically involving at a minimum a combination of training and technical measures designed to prevent recurrences. Data incorrectly acquired is almost always deleted, referred to as the “purge” process.

The Rest…HERE

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