NSA Reportedly Allowed To Keep Some Domestic Communications | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

NSA Reportedly Allowed To Keep Some Domestic Communications

Special U.S. courts charged with authorizing electronic surveillance of suspected foreign terrorists gave permission to the NSA to retain in certain cases "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications, The Guardian reports.

According to the U.K.-based newspaper, which has published a series of exposes in recent weeks on secret U.S. surveillance programs, two documents (links here and here) submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) by Attorney General Eric Holder on July 29, 2009, detail the National Security Agency's procedures for holding onto data on U.S. citizens and residents that could have value for intelligence agencies or law enforcement — in some cases for up to five years.

The documents contain rules for the NSA to retain "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications "if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity."

The FISA-approved policies allow the NSA to retain data that could potentially contain details of U.S. persons from up to five years, the newspaper says.

The documents also detail when data on U.S. persons under the foreign intelligence authority must be destroyed and safeguards for analysts to ensure that a target of surveillance is located outside the U.S.

The Guardian writes:

"The broad scope of the court orders, and the nature of the procedures set out in the documents, appear to clash with assurances from President Obama and senior intelligence officials that the NSA could not access Americans' call or email information without warrants.

"The documents also show that discretion as to who is actually targeted under the NSA's foreign surveillance powers lies directly with its own analysts, without recourse to courts or superiors — though a percentage of targeting decisions are reviewed by internal audit teams on a regular basis."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Halloween High Jinks For Fun And Nonprofits

Many Americans are not scared to reuse old clothes for new Halloween costumes.
NPR

A Wisecracking Biochemist Shares Her Kitchen ABCs

Shirley Corriher, author of Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, has tips on taking the bitter bite out of coffee, and holding onto cabbage's red hue while it's in the pan.
NPR

With Biden By His Side, Minnesota Democrat Mines For Blue-Collar Vote

Embattled Democrat Rep. Rick Nolan, who represents Minnesota's Iron Range, gets a campaign visit from the administration's blue-collar vote whisperer, Joe Biden.
NPR

Calling 911 On Your Cell? It's Harder To Find You Than You Think

If you call 911 from inside a tall building, emergency responders may have difficulty finding you. Cellphone GPS technology currently doesn't work well indoors — but the FCC hopes to change that.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.