US 'Intelligence' Boss Reveals 'Redacted' Date In The URL Of The File

from the or-in-the-other-version-of-the-document-you-already-released dept

We've written a few times about the latest document dump by James Clapper and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence this week, in which they declassified a large pile of documents (after being told to by the courts -- though they don't mention that part). But, one of the odder parts was that the dates were redacted on certain legal filings, such as the FISA Court order by judge Reggie Walton smacking the NSA around a bit for not complying with the law. Here's the end of that document with the date redacted:
Eagle-eyed Marcy Wheeler, however, has noticed two things. First, the absolute geniuses at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence left the date of the ruling in the URL of the file. You can mouseover to see it, or just know that it's: http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/1118/CLEANED101. Order and Supplemental Order (6-22-09)-sealed.pdf. See that in there? That pretty clearly indicates this is Walton's order from June 22nd, 2009. Good job, team redaction!

Oh, and it gets even stupider.

It turns out that this same document was already declassified in an earlier data dump... with totally different redactions. Both files are embedded below.

From that, you can see that the redactions (in both) seem rather arbitrary (especially redacting the dates). In many cases, it's difficult to understand why any of these points were redacted in either document. For example, in the original declassification, the following is redacted, but is available in the new release:
The Court further ordered that it would allow NSA, for a period of 20 days, to continue to share the unminimized results of authorized queries of the PR/TT metadata with NSA analysts other than the limited number of analysts authorized to access such metadata, but that such sharing was not to continue beyond the 20-day period unless the government first satisfied the Court, by written submission, that such sharing is necessary and appropriate on an ongoing basis.
Either way, it says quite a lot (none of it good) about our "intelligence" professionals when they offer up a document with a redacted date (makes no sense in the first place), which is easily revealed by the very URL (wtf?) that the intelligence officials chose, and which is further undermined by the fact that the same document had already been declassified with totally different redactions (and which reveals the date). And we're supposed to believe these folks are smart enough to not screw up with all the data they're collecting on everyone?




Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 8:40am

    And that, folks, is why they call it 'theater'.

    Because if you made this up, you'd be being "too unrealistic".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 8:46am

    it makes me wonder why these people are charged with looking after our safety and protecting us from terrorism and god knows what else in the first place, when they cant even get the same document redacted at the same points or know how to stop the date actually being completely revealed to all and sundry!!
    it seems as if it weren't for the enforced things they can do and force others to do, they couldn't secure their trousers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 8:59am

    Oh, those clumsy incompetents at NSA! Gave weenies tidbits to gasp over!

    According to Mike's analysis, then, we can stop worrying that NSA could ever make effective use of the data in a high-tech police state: tracking and stifling dissent, blackmail, industrial espionage.

    This is just more distraction from the known criminals and known crimes, diffuses the anger over those, doesn't help free us of the tyranny.

    Meanwhile, there's a far more important anomaly:

    Cerf - who is Google's chief internet preacher - added: "Privacy may be an anomaly."
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/20/vint_cerf_privacy_may_be_an_anomaly_online/

    04:59:05 [f-482-5]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 9:02am

    Re: Oh, those clumsy incompetents at NSA! Gave weenies tidbits to gasp over!

    You could try reading the rest of his comments, but that might make your brain hurt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Baron von Robber, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Oh, those clumsy incompetents at NSA! Gave weenies tidbits to gasp over!

    ootb's brain was long taken over by bacteria. It was a step up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Question all redactions, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 9:19am

    The only possible explanation I can think of for redacting the paragraph stating a court order was limited to 20 days, is that they know they violated that court order.

    It suggests that the primary reason for any redaction is not national security, but avoiding embarrassment, or possible prosecution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Rich, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Oh, those clumsy incompetents at NSA! Gave weenies tidbits to gasp over!

    I don't even bother reading his comments anymore. I just automatically hit 'report.'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    dave blevins (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Use of NSA

    Scott Adams had it right when Dilbert hacked NSA for info to recreate his files 'cause his backup was corrupt. NSA doesn't know what they have and have so much they can't find anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Re:

    Hell, the fact that they redacted it AGAIN at all is dumb enough. Someone didn't think to look to see what they've already released before marking it up again for release?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Oh, those clumsy incompetents at NSA! Gave weenies tidbits to gasp over!

    I don't even bother reading the blogs anymore. I just automatically file a DMCA.


    Not that I support OOTB, but you are missing out on the parodies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:38am

    You're seeing this wrong, the question we should be asking ourselves is: can it really be intelligence if it's less intelligent every day?

    Checkmate terrorists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:46am

    If all you have is a redacter, everything looks like it needs to be redacted...

    Perhaps if they stopped paying these people by the number of word redacted they would stop feeling like they HAVE to redact something or they aren't doing their job...

    /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    crade (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 11:24am

    It's simple really, they want you to think the document was ordered on 6-22-09 and don't want you to know the actual date, So they put it in the URL, allow everyone to make the assumption that is the date of the order without ever having to make the false claim and redact the real date. Tada :)

     

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  14.  
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    Zem, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 1:02pm

    They are different documents

    Has anyone else noticed that the judges signature is different on both documents? There is sufficient difference between the two that one of them might be a forgery.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 1:03pm

    Re: This comment is for John Fenderson...

    Yup.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Re: They are different documents

    I'm not seeing it... Look the same to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Zem, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: They are different documents

    There are two signatures in the first document by the same judge. Compare those two. There are some significant differences in the way the key letters are formed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 7:52pm

    I guess it might have looked a tad suspicious if someone found out pre snowden, that the one word redacted was "metadata"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Oh, those clumsy incompetents at NSA! Gave weenies tidbits to gasp over!

    Same here. Still waiting for someone to come up with a (Greasemonky) script for this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Sleuthing, Nov 22nd, 2013 @ 4:34am

    Re: They are different documents

    They are indeed different documents. Different number of pages, and the last page on the one 'declassified' document doesn't at all look like the last page on the other document.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Sleuthing (the failure), Nov 22nd, 2013 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re: They are different documents

    Never mind. The one document has 3 more pages tacked on it. But indeed the two signatures of the judge in that document look different. Then again my own signature changes between two documents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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