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/.

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of 2 miles — and can very accurately kill that person."

Leave a Comment

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