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: 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?

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Comments on “US 'Intelligence' Boss Reveals 'Redacted' Date In The URL Of The File”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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!

out_of_the_blue says:

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.”


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