Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying

The National Security Agency and FBI violated specific civil liberty protections during the Obama administration by improperly searching and disseminating raw intelligence on Americans or failing to promptly delete unauthorized intercepts, according to newly declassified memos that provide some of the richest detail to date on the spy agencies’ ability to obey their own rules.

The memos reviewed by The Hill were publicly released on July 11 through Freedom of Information Act litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union.

They detail specific violations that the NSA or FBI disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or the Justice Department's national security division during President Obama’s tenure between 2009 and 2016. The intelligence community isn't due to report on compliance issues for 2017, the first year under the Trump administration, until next spring.

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The NSA says that the missteps amount to a small number — less than 1 percent — when compared to the hundreds of thousands of specific phone numbers and email addresses the agencies intercepted through the so-called Section 702 warrantless spying program created by Congress in late 2008.

“Quite simply, a compliance program that never finds an incident is not a robust compliance program,” said Michael Halbig, the NSA’s chief spokesman. “The National Security Agency has in place a strong compliance program that identifies incidents, reports them to external overseers, and then develops appropriate solutions to remedy any incidents.”

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But critics say the memos undercut the intelligence community’s claim that it has robust protections for Americans incidentally intercepted under the program.

“Americans should be alarmed that the NSA is vacuuming up their emails and phone calls without a warrant,” said Patrick Toomey, an ACLU staff attorney in New York who helped pursue the FOIA litigation. “The NSA claims it has rules to protect our privacy, but it turns out those rules are weak, full of loopholes, and violated again and again.”

Section 702 empowers the NSA to spy on foreign powers and to retain and use certain intercepted data that was incidentally collected on Americans under strict privacy protections. Wrongly collected information is supposed to be immediately destroyed.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.[

The Hill reviewed the new ACLU documents as well as compliance memos released by the NSA inspector general and identified more than 90 incidents where violations specifically cited an impact on Americans. Many incidents involved multiple persons, multiple violations or extended periods of time.

For instance, the government admitted improperly searching the NSA’s foreign intercept data on multiple occasions, including one instance in which an analyst ran the same search query about an American “every work day” for a period between 2013 and 2014.

There also were several instances in which Americans’ unmasked names were improperly shared inside the intelligence community without being redacted, a violation of the so-called minimization procedures that Obama loosened in 2011 that are supposed to protect Americans' identity from disclosure when they are intercepted without a warrant. Numerous times improperly unmasked information about Americans had to be recalled and purged after the fact, the memos stated.

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Former Top NSA Official: “We Are Now In A Police State”

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LIGHTER SIDE

ALERT ALERT!!

(TeaParty.org)The Democrats have slandered and degraded the legacy of America’s combat veterans by hijacking this country’s moral values for the sake of their totally anti-American agenda.

In a letter penned by thirteen Democrat-affiliated national security officials and sent to the highest four Congressional leaders, they begged them to quickly pass the ‘Dream Act’ amnesty. At the end of that letter, the Democrats urged Congress to extend the military’s policy of “leave noone behind” to the 3.6 million illegal immigrants and 690,000 DACA beneficiaries in a demand for unconditional amnesty, Breitbart reports.

The original transcript of the letter:

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With every day that passes, these Dreamers are getting closer to the reality of deportation. We urge you to pass the Dream Act of 2017 as quickly as possible to provide permanent protection for Dreamers and relieve this deserving group of the uncertainty created by the President’s decision to rescind DACA. We should leave no man or women behind. Let that be our guiding principle.
The Democrats have finally revealed their true intent for the United States of America. The rhetoric weaponized in this letter reveals how liberals actually view illegal aliens – as foot soldiers meant to conquer American territory and overthrow the Constitution.

Immediately after this letter was made available to the public, the actual veterans of America’s wars threw up an outrage.

The phrase “Leave No One Behind” is one of the most important values of military culture, signifying the unwavering brotherhood of soldiers in the face of impossible odds, and their commitment to one another for victory even after death.

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, has called this letter a moral hijacking of America’s values. “It is an insult to the people who have gone out there and earned their moral authority by doing something for the country … those people earned it by self-sacrifice and the illegal-aliens want amnesty for their self-interest… that does not entitle them to amnesty.”

A quick look at the Center for Immigration Studies’ findings on the Dreamers, however, shows that the reality of these people contradicts what the Democrats would have us believe about them:

73 percent of DACA recipients he surveyed live in a low-income household (defined as qualifying for free lunch in high school);
22 percent have earned a degree from a four-year college or university;
20 percent have dropped out of high school;*
20 percent have no education beyond high school and no plans to attend college;
59 percent obtained a new job with a DACA work permit, but only 45 percent increased their overall earnings; and
36 percent have a parent who holds a bachelor’s degree.

These sad statistics prove that the vast majority of these DACA “kids,” who are actually full-grown men in their 20s and 30s, are parasitic lowlifes who want nothing to do with our way of life or even our language. Nothing even remotely like the men and women in America’s Armed Forces who sacrifice their well-being and lives to keep other countries from taking over and occupying us.

But if the Democrats succeed, and Congress grants this barbarian horde the right to amnesty, then everything the true American veterans fought for will be lost – we will be de facto occupied by foreign invaders, and they will carve up our land and government for themselves, just like the Aztecs, Mongols, and Muslims of old.

The pure fact that liberals think they can compare the men and women who fought, killed, were wounded, and died to keep our nation and freedom safe … to hordes of foreigners who have done virtually nothing for our country, who will most likely squat on our territory and feed off of taxpayer-provided cradle-to-grave services, is such an outrageous and insulting comparison, any Democrat who utters such sentiment should be instantly punished for treason and have their positions revoked.

Immigrants – legal and illegal – overwhelmingly uses the Democrats’ social services and vote for them. No doubt in their minds that liberals see them as a constant flow of reinforcements in their battle against law-abiding, natural American citizens. They are the Democrats’ soldiers for dismantling Western values, Christianity, secularism, capitalism, and freedom. Without these foreigners pouring into the United States from third world, socialist hellholes, the Democrats would never have survived this long.

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