from the look-at-that dept
We were disappointed to see that this fact sheet contains an inaccurate statement about how the section 702 authority has been interpreted by the US government. In our judgment this inaccuracy is significant, as it portrays protections for Americans' privacy as being significantly stronger than they actually are. We have identified this inaccurate statement in the classified attachment to this letter.Later in the letter, they also point to another "misleading" statement, amusingly using a letter that the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) sent to Wyden and Udall two years ago. This was back when they two were asking the DNI to at least reveal how many Americans had their info collected, and the DNI responded that "...it is not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed...." Now Wyden and Udall are using that line to show that the latest "fact sheet" must be wrong:
We urge you to correct this statement as soon as possible. As you have seen, when the NSA makes inaccurate statements about government surveillance and fails to correct the public record, it can decrease public confidence in the NSA's openness and its commitment to protecting Americans' constitutional rights. Rebuilding this confidence will require a willingness to correct misstatements and a willingness to make reforms where appropriate.
Separately, we note that this same fact sheet states that under section 702, "Any inadvertently acquired communication of or concerning a US person must be promptly destroyed if it is neither relevant to the authorized purpose nor evidence of a crime." We believe that this statement is somewhat misleading, in that it implies that the NSA has the ability to determine how many American communications it has collected under section 702, or that the law does not allow the NSA to deliberately search for the records of particular Americans. In fact, the intelligence community has told us repeatedly that it is "not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed under the authority" of the FISA Amendments Act.So, basically: were you lying to us then, or are you lying to us now?
We'll see what the NSA's response is, but I imagine it will likely involve more lying.