In the midst of Congress looking into the U.S. Government surveillance programs, the intelligence agencies ironically declassified multiple documents to offer insight into exactly what they were doing.

Based on the fact that leaker Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the information, they felt to be more transparent with the public, they would release the following information.

U.S. Court Rulings

blank Federal Judge Ruling, 12/13/2013, that the NSA spying on domestic phone records is “unconstitutional” [68 Pages, 2.94MB]

Department of Defense – Inspector General

blank Requirements for the TRAILBLAZER and THINTHREAD Systems –  [165 Pages, 13.6MB] – This is the official DOD/IG Investigation into the TRAILBLAZER and THINTHREAD programs.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

blank Surveillance Warrants submited to FISA by the FBI in 2001 [5 Pages, 1.63MB] – FBI will not accept these requests due to the fact that each warrant is in an individual file, and requires consent under the Privacy Acts.  They are not centralized file in one location, or available as requested.

blank Electronic Surveillance at the Department of Justice, 1966-1967 File 62-HQ-318 [735 Pages, 33.7 MB](Source: GovernmentAttic.org)

blank Ultrasonic Listening Devices / Wiretapping, 1945 – 1989 File 80-HQ-760 [1,076 Pages, 61.87 MB] (Source:GovernmentAttic.org)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

blank Telecom Complaints about NSA Cooperation [30 Pages, 5.3MB] –

National Security Agency (NSA)

blank NSA Contract with NARUS, allegedly the software firm that wrote the software for tapping  [17 Pages, 0.8 MB]

blank Order for Business Records Collection Under the USA PATRIOT Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [17 Pages, 5.64 MB]

blank Declassified FISA court documents on intelligence collection, 2008-2009 [379 Pages, 25.28MB] – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declassified documents about intelligence collection under Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Sept. 10, 2013.

blank 2009 Report on the NSA Bulk Collection Program for USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization [7 Pages, 3.78 MB]

blank 2011 Report on the NSA Bulk Collection Program for USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorizations Report Collection[9 Pages, 4.33 MB]

blank FTC Complaints Regarding NSA and Telecom Cooperation for Surveillance, 2013 [30 Pages, 5.21 MB]

blank Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments, April 1, 2014 [20 Pages, 0.4MB] – Beginning in the summer of 2013, media reports of foreign intelligence activities conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) have been widely published. The reports have focused on two main NSA collection activities approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. The first is the bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls. The second involves the interception of Internet-based communications and is targeted at foreigners who are not within the United States, but may also inadvertently acquire the communications of U.S. persons. As public awareness of these programs grew, questions about the constitutionality of these programs were increasingly raised by Members of Congress and others. This report provides a brief overview of these two programs and the various constitutional challenges that have arisen in judicial forums with respect to each.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

blank Remarks as delivered by James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence at an Open Hearing on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Authorities, 9/26/13 [4 Pages, 0.2 MB]

08/6/2014 Release

Following a declassification review by the Executive Branch, the Department of Justice released on August 6, 2014, in redacted form, 38 documents relating to the now-discontinued NSA program to collect bulk electronic communications metadata pursuant to Section 402 of the FISA (“PRTT provision”).  These documents are also responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Under the program NSA was permitted to collect certain electronic communications metadata such as the “to,” “from,” and “cc” lines of an email and the email’s time and date.  This collection was done only after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved the government’s applications, and pursuant to court order generally lasting 90 days.  NSA was not permitted to collect the content of any electronic communications.  Like NSA’s bulk telephony metadata program under FISA section 501, this program was subject to several restrictions approved by the FISC, such as:

  • The information could be used only for counterterrorism purposes.
  • The information had to be stored in secure databases.
  • The databases could be queried using an identifier such as an email address only when an analyst had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the email address was associated with certain specified foreign terrorist organizations that were the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations.  The basis for that suspicion had to be documented in writing and approved by a limited number of designated approving officials identified in the Court’s Order.  Moreover, if an identifier was reasonably believed to be used by a United States person, NSA’s Office of General Counsel would also review the determination to ensure that the suspected association was not based solely on First Amendment-protected activities.
  • NSA was required to destroy the bulk metadata after a set period of time.

The information released on August 6, 2014, together with documents previously released, demonstrates the extent to which the IC sought and received FISC approval to collect electronic communications metadata under the PRTT provision, the oversight regime of internal checks over the program, and that Congress was kept fully apprised of the status of NSA’s electronic metadata collection.  The documents released include several associated with government applications and FISC orders authorizing the collection of metadata under the PRTT program.  Other documents included in this release include the report of an end-to-end review of the PRTT program undertaken by the Executive Branch, DOJ’s letter to the FISC seeking clarification on the FISC’s authorization to collect metadata, and correspondence from the NSA Inspector General.

After the 2009 discovery of certain compliance issues associated with NSA’s electronic communications and telephony bulk metadata collection programs, the Government took measures to strengthen compliance and oversight.

As previously stated, this Internet communications metadata bulk collection program has been discontinued.  The Intelligence Community regularly assesses the continuing operational value of all of its collection programs.  In 2011, the Director of NSA called for an examination of this program to assess its continuing value as a unique source of foreign intelligence information.  This examination revealed that the program was no longer meeting NSA’s operational expectations.  Accordingly, after careful deliberation, the Government discontinued the program, and the metadata collected pursuant to this program has been purged.

In addition, the DOJ also released four documents that do not directly relate to bulk collection under the PRTT provision but are responsive to EPIC’s FOIA request.  Like the documents relating to the bulk collection, these documents demonstrate the FISC’s judicial oversight of PRTT collection under the FISA.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Public Affairs Office

Judicial Oversight

blank FISC Opinion and Order

blank FISC Primary Order


blank FISC Primary Order


blank FISC Order and Supplemental Order


blank FISC Supplemental Order


blank FISC Primary Order


blank FISC Memorandum Opinion Granting in Part and Denying in Part Application to Reinitiate, in Expanded Form, Pen Register/Trap and Trace Authorization


blank Declaration of NSA Chief, Special FISA Oversight and Processing, Oversight and Compliance, Signals Intelligence Directorate, the National Security Agency


blank Government’s Response to the FISC’s Supplemental Order


blank Declaration of NSA Chief, Special FISA Oversight and Processing, Oversight and Compliance, Signals Intelligence Directorate, the National Security Agency


blank Supplemental Declaration of Chief, Special FISA Oversight and Processing, Oversight and Compliance, Signals Intelligence Directorate, the National Security Agency

blank Government’s Response to the FISC’s Supplemental Order Requesting a Corrective Declaration


blank Government’s Response to a FISC Order 


blank Declaration of Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander, U.S. Army, Director, NSA, Concerning NSA’s Compliance with a FISC Order


blank Preliminary Notice of Potential Compliance Incident


blank Notice of Filing

blank Government’s Application for Use of Pen Register/Trap and Trace Devices for Foreign Intelligence Purposes


blank Memorandum of Law and Fact in Support of Application for Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices for Foreign Intelligence Purposes

blank Declaration of General Keith B. Alexander, U.S. Army, Director, NSA, in Support of Pen Register/Trap and Trace Application


blank Exhibit D in Support of Pen Register/Trap and Trace Application


blank First Letter in Response to FISC Questions Concerning NSA bulk Metadata Collection Using Pen Register/Trap and Trace Devices


blank Second Letter in Response to FISC Questions concerning NSA bulk Metadata Collection Using Pen Register/Trap and Trace Devices


blank Third Letter in Response to FISC Questions Concerning NSA Bulk Metadata Collection Using Pen Register/Trap and Trace Devices

blank Application for Pen Register/Trap and Trace Devices for Foreign Intelligence Purposes

blank Memorandum of Law and Fact in Support of Application for Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices for Foreign Intelligence Purposes


blank Declaration of General Michael V. Hayden, U.S Air Force, Director, NSA, in Support of Pen Register/Trap and Trace Application


blank Application for Use of Pen Register/Trap and Trace Devices for Foreign Intelligence Purposes


blank Declaration of NSA Chief, Special FISA Oversight and Processing, Oversight and Compliance, Signals Intelligence Directorate


blank Declaration Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander, U.S. Army, Director, NSA, Concerning NSA’s Implementation of Authority to Collect Certain Metadata


blank NSA’s Pen Register Trap and Trace FISA Review Report


blank DOJ Report to the FISC NSA’s Program to Collect Metadata


blank Government’s First Letter to Judge Bates to Confirm Understanding of Issues Relating to the FISC’s Authorization to Collect Metadata


blank Government’s Second Letter to Judge Bates to Confirm Understanding of Issues Relating to the FISC’s Authorization to Collect Metadata 


blank Tab 1 Declaration of NSA Chief, Special Oversight and Processing, Oversight and Compliance, Signals Intelligence


blank Verified Memorandum of Law in Response to FISC Supplemental Order

blank Memorandum of Law in Response to FISC Order

Congressional Oversight

blank Government’s Motion to Unseal FISC Documents in Order to Brief Congressional Intelligence and Judiciary Committees

blank Order Granting the Government’s Motion to Unseal FISC Documents in Order to Brief Congressional Intelligence and Judiciary Committees

blank April 27, 2005 Testimony of the Attorney General and Director, FBI Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 

Internal Oversight

blank NSA IG Memo Announcing its Audit of NSA’s Controls to Comply with the FISA Court’s Order Regarding Pen Register/Trap and Trace Devices

blank NSA IG Memo Suspending its Audit of NSA after the NSA’s PRTT Metadata Program Expired

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