Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:
Current Assessment/State of the Field:
Loeb, Vernon, “GAO Faults Security Clearance Process; Review Finds Some Procedural Lapses but No Loss of Secrets,” The Washington Post, October 27, 1998.
- “Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)”
- “SCI clearances are higher than “top-secret” and allow government employees and contractors access to information about highly sensitive technical intelligence-gathering systems — satellites, spy planes, submarines and ground-listening posts — as well as to the photographs and electronic intercepts those systems generate.
- “Since 1993, the CIA has granted SCI clearances to 840 employees in the Executive Office. The total number of people who have SCI clearances is itself classified, according to one U.S. intelligence official.
- “Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ project on government secrecy and an expert on government security classifications… “If we’re going to have a functioning system, we have to have an aggressive declassification system and a greater discipline with regard to real secrets.””
- “UMBRA is a compartment for information regarding the most sensitive electronic intercepts.”
- “Levels of Secrecy…Confidential information is defined as that which could cause “damage to national security” if it is disclosed on an unauthorized basis. Secret information would cause “serious damage” to national security if improperly disclosed. Top-secret information would cause “exceptionally grave” damage to national security if improperly disclosed. Sensitive compartmented information is considered even more sensitive than top-secret and deals with sophisticated technical systems for collecting information or the data collected by those systems.”
Shane, Scott, “Anthrax Inquiry Draws Criticism From Federal Judge,” NYT, A23, Oct. 8, 2004.
- Judge reviewed classified update from FBI.
- Hatfill civil suit for being called a “person of interest.”
Editors, “The National Industrial Security Program report.” United States, Information Security Oversight Office. February 28, 2006. Last Accessed April 17, 2016 from http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=pur1.32754073515078;view=1up;seq=5
- “This report provides information on the current status of the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) as part of the Information Security Oversight Office’s (ISOO’s) responsibilities to implement and monitor the program under Section 102(b) of Executive Order 12829, as amended, “National Industrial Security Program.”
- “This is part of our continuing evaluation of Government and Industry’s efforts to achieve the goal of establishing an integrated and cohesive program that safeguards classified information while preserving the Nation’s economic and technological interests”
Editors, “National Industrial Security Program Directive No. 1 ACTION Final rule” Federal Register. 6 pages. April 8, 2006.
- “The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is publishing this Directive pursuant to section 102(b)(1) of Executive Order 12829, as amended, relating to the National Industrial Security Program.”
- “This order establishes a National Industrial Security Program (NISP) to safeguard Federal Government classified information that is released to contractors, licensees, and grantees of the United States Government.”
- “Redundant, overlapping, or unnecessary requirements impede those interests. Therefore, the NISP serves as the single, integrated, cohesive industrial security program to protect classified information and to preserve our Nation’s economic and technological interests.”
- “This Directive sets forth guidance to agencies to set uniform standards throughout the NISP that promote these objectives.”
- “The NISPOM applies to release of classified information during all phases of the contracting process.”
Sabelnikov, A et. al, “Airborne exposure limits for chemical and biological warfare agents: Is everything set and clear?” International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 16(4), 241-253. August, 2006.
- “In the case of a radiological terrorist event, emergency response guidelines (ERG) have been worked out.”
- “In the case of a terrorist event with the use of chemical warfare (CW) agents the situation is not that clear, though the new guidelines and clean-up values are being generated based on re-evaluation of toxicological and risk data.”
- “For biological warfare (BW) agents, such guidelines do not yet exist.”
- “In the case of a terrorist event with the use of chemical warfare (CW) agents, the situation is not that clear, because airborne exposure limits (AELs), obtained by extrapolation of toxicological data among animal species and from animals to humans has proven to be unreliable for many chemical agents (Johnson 2003).”
- “The Emergency Response Planning Guidelines (ERPG) developed by the American Industrial Hygienist Association (AIHA) (AIHA 2003) define three risk/exposure levels: level one is defined as ‘‘the maximum airborne concentration of toxic chemical below which, it is believed, nearly all the individuals could be exposed for up to 1 h without experiencing more than mild, transient adverse health effects or without perceiving a clearly defined objectionable odor.”
- “Research on man was not and is not possible, because of ethical reasons, and the most, if not all, the information on military tests and research in this area including animal models is classified (Johnson 2003 is one of the few exceptions).”
- “With regard to CW agents, it is suggested that in spite of the fact that the new, revised exposure limits were proposed or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, and the US Army, further research is still needed.”
Associated Press, “The Hague: Court’s First Trial,” NYT, A 26, Nov. 19, 2008.
- “The International Criminal Court cleared the way on Tuesday to begin its first trial on Tuesday to begin its first trial in January.”
- “The court in The Hague lifted its suspension of the case against Mr. Lubanga after the prosecution submitted to demands to hand over confidential evidence it had received from the United Nations.”
- “Mr. Lubanga is the first defendant brought before the court since it was created in 2002 as the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal.”
Broad, William, J., “Property of Nuclear Critic Is Seized by Federal Agents,” NYT, A23, oct. 21, 2009.
- “Federal agents have seized six computers, two cameras, two cellphones and hundreds of files from a Los Alamos, N.M., physicist who has criticized the government’s nuclear agenda as misguided.”
- “The physicist, P. Leonardo Mascheroni, said he was told that the seizures were part of a criminal investigation into possible nuclear espionage.”
- “[He has] championed an innovative type of laser fusion, which seeks to harness the energy that powers the sun, the stars and hydrogen bombs.”
- “The secrets of hydrogen bombs and laser fusion can be similar, and the federal investigation appears to center on whether Dr. Mascheroni broke federal rules in discussing his proposed laser with a man who called himself a representative of the Venezuelan government.”
- “a man claiming to be a Venezuelan representative agreed to pay him $800,000 for a laser study. Dr. Mascheroni said he delivered the unclassified study but was never paid.”
Associated Press, ”Spy Probe nabs Md. Scientist: Researcher has worked at Goddard, Elsewhere,” Baltimore Sun, 6, October 20, 2009.
- “A scientist who worked for the Defense Department, a White House space council and other agencies was arrested Monday on charges of passing along classified information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.”
- “Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information, the Justice Department said.”
- “At Energy, Nozette held a special security clearance equivalent to the Defense Department’s top secret and ‘critical nuclear weapon design information’ clearances.”
- “an unnamed colleague of Nozette who said the scientists told him that if the U.S. governemnt ever tried to put him in jail for an unrealted criminal offense, he would go to Israel or another country and ‘tell them everything’ he knows.”
Associated Press, “Espionage Suspect Admits Overbilling: Scientist Entered Secret Plea Deal,” USA Today, 6A, Oct. 27, 2009.
- “A former government scientist accused of attempted espionage pleaded guilty to overbilling NASA and the Department of Defense more than $265,000 for contracting work.”
- “Seperately, Nozette was arrested last week and accused of trying to sell classified information on U.S. defense secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence operative.”
Schwartz, John, “California: Court to Reconsider Secrets Case,” NYT, A19, Oct. 28, 2009.
- “The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will reconsider a decision allowing a lawsuit against a company suspected of involvement in C.I.A. ‘extraordinary rendition’ flights in which detainees were transferred to other countries.”
- “The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, argued that the case should not go forward because it would expose state secrets.”
Markoff, John, “Google Asks Spy Agency for Help With Inquiry Into Cyberattacks” February 5, 2010, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/science/05google.html. last checked 12/10/11
- ”Google has turned to the National Security Agency for technical assistance to learn more about the computer network attackers who breached the company’s cybersecurity defenses last year, a person with direct knowledge of the agreement said Thursday.”
- ”By turning to the N.S.A., which has no statutory authority to investigate domestic criminal acts, instead of the Department of Homeland Security, which does have such authority, Google is clearly seeking to avoid having its search engine, e-mail and other Web services regulated as part of the nation’s “critical infrastructure.”
- ”Systems designated as critical infrastructure are increasingly being held to tighter regulatory standards.”
- ”On Jan. 12, Google announced a ‘new approach to China,’ stating that the attacks were ‘highly sophisticated’ and came from China.”
- ”At the time, it gave few details about the attacks other than to say that a theft of its intellectual property had occurred and that a primary goal of the attackers had been to gain access to the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.”
- ”A number of computer security consultants who worked with other companies that experienced attacks similar to those of Google have stated that the surveillance system was controlled from a series of compromised server computers based in Taiwan.”
- ”An N.S.A. spokeswoman said, ‘N.S.A. is not able to comment on specific relationships we may or may not have with U.S. companies,’ but added, the agency worked with “a broad range of commercial partners’ to ensure security of information systems.’
- ”’This is the other side of N.S.A. — this is the security service that does defensive measures,’ said the specialist, James A. Lewis, a director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘It’s not unusual for people to go to N.S.A. and say ‘please take a look at my code.’ ‘ ”
- ”On Thursday, the organization [Electronic Privacy Information Center] filed a lawsuit against the N.S.A., calling for the release of information about the agency’s role as it was set out in National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 , a classified 2008 order issued by President George W. Bush dealing with cybersecurity and surveillance.”
- ”The relationship that the N.S.A. has struck with Google is known as a cooperative research and development agreement, …. These were created as part of the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 and are essentially a written agreement between a private company and a government agency to work together on a specific project.”
- ”In addition to the N.S.A., Google has been working with the F.B.I. on the attack inquiry,…”
Shanker, Thom, “Loophole May Have Aided Theft of Classified Data,” NYT, July 8, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/09/world/09breach.html?_r=2&sq=military gaga&st=cse&adxnnl=1&scp=1&adxnnlx=1279090805-QBlmeAmcqVZu6CQdJRU0Ww
- “Criminal charges were filed this week against the soldier, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, who was accused of downloading more than 150,000 diplomatic cables, as well as secret videos and a PowerPoint presentation.”
- “A Defense Department directive from November 2008 prohibits the use of small thumb drives or larger external memory devices on any of the estimated seven million computers operated by the Pentagon and armed services. The order was issued to forestall the accidental infection of national security computer networks by viruses — and the intentional removal of classified information.”
- “Defense Department computers have their portals disabled to prevent the use of external memory devices that are ubiquitous in homes, offices and schools, officials said.”
- “According to Pentagon officials and one former hacker who has communicated with Private Manning, he appears to have taken compact discs that can accept text, video and other data files into an intelligence center in the desert of eastern Iraq to copy and remove the classified information.”
- “The four pages of official charges against Private Manning accuse him of downloading and removing the classified data from last November to May. The charges say he also loaded unauthorized software onto a computer linked to the military’s classified computer network, called the SIPR-Net.”
- “In downloading more than 150,000 diplomatic cables, the charges state, Private Manning did “intentionally exceed his authorized access on” the SIPR-Net.”
Shane, Scott, “Pentagon Plan: Buying Books to Keep Secrets,” NYT Sept. 9, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/us/10books.html?_r=1&hpw last checked sept 10, 2010.
- “Defense Department officials are negotiating to buy and destroy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of an Afghan war memoir they say contains intelligence secrets, according to two people familiar with the dispute.”
- “The publication of “Operation Dark Heart,” by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, has divided military security reviewers and highlighted the uncertainty about what information poses a genuine threat to security.”
- “Disputes between the government and former intelligence officials over whether their books reveal too much have become commonplace. But veterans of the publishing industry and intelligence agencies could not recall another case in which an agency sought to dispose of a book that had already been printed.”
- “Army reviewers suggested various changes and redactions and signed off on the edited book in January, saying they had “no objection on legal or operational security grounds,” and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, planned for an Aug. 31 release.”
- “But when the Defense Intelligence Agency saw the manuscript in July and showed it to other spy agencies, reviewers identified more than 200 passages suspected of containing classified information, setting off a scramble by Pentagon officials to stop the book’s distribution.”
- “Release of the book “could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security,” Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr., the D.I.A. director, wrote in an Aug. 6 memorandum. He said reviewers at the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and United States Special Operations Command had all found classified information in the manuscript.”
- “The disputed material includes the names of American intelligence officers who served with Colonel Shaffer and his accounts of clandestine operations, including N.S.A. eavesdropping operations, according to two people briefed on the Pentagon’s objections. They asked not to be named because the negotiations are supposed to be confidential.”
- “By the time the D.I.A. objected, however, several dozen copies of the unexpurgated 299-page book had already been sent out to potential reviewers, and some copies found their way to online booksellers. The New York Times was able to buy a copy online late last week.”
- “The dispute arises as the Obama administration is cracking down on disclosures of classified information to the news media, pursuing three such prosecutions to date, the first since 1985. Separately, the military has charged an Army private with giving tens of thousands of classified documents to the organization WikiLeaks.”
- “Colonel Shaffer, his lawyer, Mark S. Zaid, and lawyers for the publisher are near an agreement with the Pentagon over what will be taken out of a new edition to be published Sept. 24, with the allegedly classified passages blacked out. But the two sides are still discussing whether the Pentagon will buy the first printing, currently in the publisher’s Virginia warehouse, and at what price.”
- “A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Bob Mehal, said the book had not received a proper ‘information security review’ initially and that officials were working ‘closely and cooperatively’ with the publisher and author to resolve the problem.”
- “In a brief telephone interview this week before Army superiors asked him not to comment further, Colonel Shaffer said he did not think it contained damaging disclosures. ‘I worked very closely with the Army to make sure there was nothing that would harm national security,’ he said.”
- “‘Operation Dark Heart’ is a breezily written, first-person account of Colonel Shaffer’s five months in Afghanistan in 2003, when he was a civilian D.I.A. officer based at Bagram Air Base near Kabul.”
- “The book includes some details that typically might be excised during a required security review, including the names of C.I.A. and N.S.A. officers in Afghanistan, casual references to “N.S.A.’s voice surveillance system,” and American spying forays into Pakistan.”
- “David Wise, author of many books on intelligence, said the episode recalled the C.I.A.’s response to the planned publication of his 1964 book on the agency, ‘The Invisible Government.’ John A. McCone, then the agency’s director, met with him and his co-author, Thomas B. Ross, to ask for changes, but they were not government employees and refused the request. The agency studied the possibility of buying the first printing, Mr. Wise said, but the publisher of Random House, Bennett Cerf, told the agency he would be glad to sell all the copies to the agency — and then print more. ‘Their clumsy efforts to suppress the book only made it a bestseller,’ Mr. Wise said.”
Broad, William, J. “Zeal for Dream Drove Scientist in Secrets Case,” NYT, Spetember 27, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/science/28scientist.html?pagewanted=1&sq=zeal&st=cse&scp=1 Last checked September 29, 2010.
- “As he was snubbed by Congress and federal experts, Dr. Mascheroni, a naturalized citizen who was born in Argentina, grew increasingly frustrated and bitter. He became known in Washington for veiled threats to take his atomic expertise abroad unless the government backed his laser plan.”
- “A 22-count indictment against Dr. Mascheroni, made public on Sept. 17, quotes his wife, Marjorie, as saying that he would “make bombs” overseas “if they don’t listen to him in Washington.” She has been charged as a co-conspirator, and both of them have pleaded not guilty.”
- “Federal prosecutors have charged Dr. Mascheroni with trying to sell nuclear secrets to Venezuela as part of a complicated scheme to have that country bring his laser to life. According to the indictment, he negotiated the deal in 2008 and 2009 with the undercover F.B.I. agent, who paid him $20,000 out of an overall promise of nearly $800,000.”
- “That did not stop Dr. Mascheroni. The indictment against him describes clandestine meetings, tape-recorded conversations, confidential places for the transfer of documents and a pattern of false statements from Dr. Mascheroni and his wife to federal authorities.”
- “As part of the plot, prosecutors say, Dr. Mascheroni would build a laser for producing energy — as he had always wanted to — and would throw in a plan for Venezuela that ‘could deliver a nuclear bomb in 10 years.’”
- “‘I have to put my science at a higher level,’ he said, emphasizing that his responsibilities to the scientific truth extended beyond duties to care for his family. He suggested that he even might face a death sentence.”
- “Hugh E. DeWitt, a California physicist and veteran of the Livermore lab, suggested that Dr. Mascheroni, in approaching a man he thought was a Venezuelan agent, was probably overselling his bomb skills in an last-ditch attempt to bring his laser to life.”
Schmitt, Eric, “Air Force Limits Access to Web Sites Over Secret Cables,” NYT, December 14, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/us/15wiki.html?_r=1&hp Last checked December 14, 2010.
- “The Air Force is barring its personnel from using work computers to view the Web sites of The New York Times and more than 25 other news organizations and blogs that have posted secret cables obtained by WikiLeaks, Air Force officials said on Tuesday.”
- “When Air Force personnel on the service’s computer network try to view the Web sites of The Times, the Guardian of London, Germany’s Der Spiegel, Spain’s El Pais and France’s Le Monde, as well as other sites that posted full confidential cables, the screen says: ‘Access Denied: Internet usage is logged and monitored,’ according to an Air Force official whose access was blocked … Violators are warned they faced punishment if they tried to view classified material from unauthorized Web sites.”
- “Computer network operators at the 24th Air Force last week followed longstanding policy to keep classified information off unclassified computer systems, Air Force officials said. ‘News media Web sites will be blocked if they post classified documents from the WikiLeaks Web site,’ said Lt. Col. Brenda Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space Command. ‘This is similar to how we’d block any other Web site that posted classified information.’”
- “Colonel Campbell said that only sites posting full classified documents, not just excerpts, would be blocked.”
- “Spokesmen for the Army, Navy and Marines said they were not blocking the Web sites of news organizations, largely because guidance has already been issued by the Obama administration and the Defense Department directing hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors not to read the secret cables and other classified documents published by WikiLeaks unless the workers have the required security clearance or authorization.”
- “‘Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority,’ said a notice sent on Dec. 3 by the Office of Management and Budget, which is part of the White House, to agency and department heads.”
- “Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, a secrecy specialist, said that since the O.M.B. directive about a dozen agencies have implemented their own approaches to the order that tells employees not to look at the WikiLeaks cables. For instance, Mr. Aftergood said NASA, the Library of Congress and the Congressional Research Service have gone beyond the O.M.B. directive so their computers block access to the WikiLeaks sites, as many military computer networks already do.”
Yousseff, Nancy A., “Could more secret files lead to more leaked data?,” The Pantagraph, December 05, 2010. News, Pg. A1
- “WikiLeaks’ release of tens of thousands of classified government documents on three separate occasions this year has prompted U.S. officials to add layers of new safeguards, but that very impulse has sparked a debate among experts about whether those new protections might make national security secrets more vulnerable, not less.”
- “Since WikiLeaks began last week publishing classified State Department cables that date back to 1966 and touch on nearly every international issue, the State Department removed its cables from the Defense Department’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet, the Pentagon’s classified computer system.”
- “Such over-classification isn’t isolated. The U.S. government, which has three broad classes of classified documents – confidential, secret and top secret – often classifies public events as “secret.””
- “In 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order calling for a review of how documents are classified, saying none can remain classified indefinitely.”
- “The order sought to avoid “over-classification” by providing training every two years to officials authorized to classify documents and requiring officials to regularly review documents to determine if they should remain classified.”
- “”The right answer is not more secrecy but smarter secrecy,” Aftergood.”
Broad, William, J., “Laser Advances in Nuclear Fuel Stir Terror Fear,” New York Times, August 20, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/science/earth/21laser.html?_r=1&hp, last checked 8/21/11.
- ” In a little-known effort, General Electric has successfully tested laser enrichment for two years and is seeking federal permission to build a $1 billion plant that would make reactor fuel by the ton. That might be good news for the nuclear industry. But critics fear that if the work succeeds and the secret gets out, rogue states and terrorists could make bomb fuel in much smaller plants that are difficult to detect.”
- ”Iran has already succeeded with laser enrichment in the lab, and nuclear experts worry that G.E.’s accomplishment might inspire Tehran to build a plant easily hidden from the world’s eyes.”
- ”But critics want a detailed risk assessment. Recently, they petitioned Washington for a formal evaluation of whether the laser initiative could backfire and speed the global spread of nuclear arms. … New varieties of enrichment are considered potentially dangerous because they can simplify the hardest part of building a bomb — obtaining the fuel.”
- ”’We’re on the verge of a new route to the bomb,’ said Frank N. von Hippel, a nuclear physicist who advised President Bill Clinton and now teaches at Princeton.’“We should have learned enough by now to do an assessment before we let this kind of thing out.’”
- ”General Electric, an atomic pioneer and one of the world’s largest companies, says its initial success began in July 2009 at a facility just north of Wilmington, N.C., that is jointly owned with Hitachi. It is impossible to independently verify that claim because the federal government has classified the laser technology as top secret. But G.E. officials say that the achievement is genuine and that they are accelerating plans for a larger complex at the Wilmington site.”
- ”For now, the big uncertainty centers on whether federal regulators will grant the planned complex a commercial license. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is weighing that issue and has promised G.E. to make a decision by next year. The Obama administration has taken no public stance on plans for the Wilmington plant. But President Obama has a record of supporting nuclear power as well as aggressive efforts to curtail the bomb’s spread. The question is whether those goals now conflict.”
- ”The aim of enrichment is to extract the rare form of uranium from the ore that miners routinely dig out of the ground. The process is a little like picking through multicolored candies to find the blue ones. The scarce isotope, known as uranium 235, amounts to just 0.7 percent of mined uranium. Yet it is treasured because it splits easily in two in bursts of atomic energy. If concentrations are raised (or enriched) to about 4 percent, the material can fuel nuclear reactors; to 90 percent, atom bombs. “
- ”Twenty miles southwest of Sydney, in a wooded region, Horst Struve and Michael Goldsworthy kept tinkering with the idea at a government institute. Finally, around 1994, the two men judged that they had a major advance. The inventors called their idea Silex, for separation of isotopes by laser excitation. “Our approach is completely different,” Dr. Goldsworthy, a physicist, told a Parliamentary hearing. … In May 2006, G.E. bought the rights to Silex. Andrew C. White, the president of the company’s nuclear business, hailed the technology as “game-changing.”
- ”In late 2009, as G.E. experimented with its trial laser, supporters of arms control wrote Congress and the regulatory commission. The technology, they warned, posed a danger of quickening the spread of nuclear weapons because of the likely difficulty of detecting clandestine plants. Experts called for a federal review of the risks. In early 2010, the commission resisted. Late last year, the American Physical Society — the nation’s largest group of physicists, with headquarters in Washington — submitted a formal petition to the commission for a rule change that would compel such risk assessments as a condition of licensing.”
- ”But critics say a clandestine bomb maker would need only a tiny fraction of that vast industrial ability — and thus could build a much smaller laser … Each year, they note, the enrichment powers of the Wilmington plant would be great enough to produce fuel for more than 1,000 nuclear weapons.”
- ” This year, thousands of citizens, supporters of arms control, nuclear experts and members of Congress wrote the commission to back the society’s effort. Many of them cited well-known failures in safeguarding secrets and detecting atomic plants. But the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group in Washington, objected. It said new precautions were unnecessary because of voluntary plans for “additional measures” to safeguard secrets.”
Dilanian, Ken, “A key Sept. 11 legacy: more domestic surveillance“, LA Times, August 29, 2011, http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/29/nation/la-na-911-homeland-security-surveillance-20110830
last checked august 27, 2012.
- ”U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies now collect, store and analyze vast quantities of digital data produced by law-abiding Americans. The data mining receives limited congressional oversight, rare judicial review and almost no public scrutiny.”
- ”’We are caught in the middle of a perfect storm in which every thought we communicate, every step we take, every transaction we enter into is captured in digital data and is subject to government collection,’ said Fred H. Cate, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law who has written extensively on privacy and security.”
- ”The National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on foreign targets, once had to get a court-approved warrant to monitor a U.S. citizen’s communications over wires that traverse the United States. Now the agency is free to vacuum up communications by Americans and foreigners alike, as long as the target of the surveillance is a foreigner.”
- ”Officials from the FBI and NSA say they follow strict rules to avoid abuses. But in 2007, the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the FBI had engaged in ‘serious misuse’ of its authority to issue National Security Letters, claiming urgency in cases where when none existed.”
- ”Such letters, a kind of administrative subpoena, are key to the increased surveillance.”
- ”Courts have ruled that the government doesn’t need a search warrant, which requires a judge’s approval, to obtain records held by ‘third parties,’ such as hotels, banks, phone companies or Internet providers.”
- ”So the government has used National Security Letters to get the data, issuing 192,500 of the letters between 2003 and 2006, according to an audit by the Justice Department inspector general. The numbers have dropped sharply since then, but the FBI issued 24,287 National Security Letters last year for data on 14,212 Americans. That’s up from a few thousand letters a year before 2001.”
- ”Unlike a search warrant in a criminal case, obtaining a FISA warrant does not require convincing a judge that there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed. Instead, the government must show probable cause that the target is an agent of a foreign power. Because of the different legal standard, information gathered from FISA warrants tended not to be used in criminal cases a decade ago.”
- ”’Zazi is a very good example of the melding of intelligence authorities and criminal authorities,’ said a senior law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity. ‘We needed to move quickly, and we never could have done it like that’ before Sept. 11.”
- ”The Zazi case revealed another new reality. Earlier this year, the government disclosed it had recorded 43 conversations between Zazi’s codefendant, Adis Medunjanin, and his lawyer, Robert Gottlieb. With rare exceptions, such conversations are off-limits to investigators in criminal cases — unless they obtain a FISA warrant.”
- ”A federal judge later ruled in Mayfield’s favor that provisions of the Patriot Act, allowing the FBI to use FISA to conduct ‘surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable-cause requirements of the 4th Amendment,’ were unconstitutional. The ruling was overturned on appeal in 2009.”
- ”Bush gave the NSA the authority to eavesdrop on Americans communicating with foreigners abroad without first obtaining a FISA warrant, deeming the process too slow.”
- “The law also retroactively legalized other forms of surveillance, former intelligence officials say, including “bulk” monitoring that allows the government to intercept all email traffic between America and a range of suspect email addresses in, say, Pakistan.”
- ”The government’s goal is ‘to find the kind of patterns that maybe will lead them to evidence of some kind of terrorist plot, and maybe thereafter they can then zero in on a suspect,’ said Joel Margolis, a regulatory consultant for Subsentio, a Colorado firm that helps telecommunications companies comply with law enforcement requests. ‘It’s just the opposite of what we’ve done in our tradition of law, where you start with a suspect.’”
- ”Merrill, the Internet entrepreneur, was so disturbed by the FBI’s demand for his customer’s records that he became an anonymous plaintiff in a legal challenge to the Patriot Act provisions on National Security Letters. A federal judge in New York ruled parts of the law unconstitutional in 2004 and again in 2007, calling it ‘the legislative equivalent of breaking and entering.’ Last year, Merrill won the right to identify himself as the recipient of a letter, although he is still prohibited from saying much about it. But the FBI withdrew its request for his customer’s data, so higher courts didn’t rule on whether the request itself was constitutional.”