Jan 13 2006

Vindicated On FISA

Published by at 2:01 am under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

The Washington Post has vindicated my suspicions on the role of the NSA and FISA. David Ignatius has done his homework and concluded the NSA does international intel, and when they get a solid lead the pass it to FISA. Before FISA is involved, people in the US are under surveillance as contacts communicating with the ‘targets’ of the NSA surveillance:

The agency has used sophisticated algorithms to analyze patterns of communication so that it can focus on people who may be linked to al Qaeda and then, where appropriate, target its communications through FISA warrants or other procedures.

That’s it folks. NSA detects a lead in the US and this is passed to FISA to make that contact a target of surveillance – all legal and proper. And what has these hair splitting leakers all upset?

To firmly set the NSA program within the law, Congress and the courts will have to think carefully about what’s known in the signals intelligence world as “meta-data.” These are the tags that identify the basic facts of a communication — time, date, to, from — but not its content. According to the Times and to other published reports, this routing information has been at the core of the NSA’s new program.

The tricky legal question is whether a different privacy standard should apply to the meta-data that overlay the communication itself. The Supreme Court held in 1979, in Smith v. Maryland , that installing a device known as a “pen register,” which records numbers dialed from a phone, was not a “search” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, so no warrant was required. Congress later set a higher standard protecting the privacy of these pen registers, including those used in FISA surveillance. These issues would return in any debate about amending FISA.

Actually they won’t. Like here in the US, we can distinguish between warrantless monitoring of the contacts who communicate with target of a warrant and the target of the warrant. Ignatius is grasping at some last bastion of legal rationale for the leaking and exposing of what we expected our government to be doing. Finding Al Qaeda and stopping their plans for attack.

But I do thank the Post for vindicating my suspicions that this is NOT about spying on Americans illegally, but simply about partisan dirty tricks.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Vindicated On FISA”

  1. MerryJ1 says:

    This may be a hint of damage caused by the leaks:


    Disposable cell phone purchases in large numbers, by ME men with “links to terrorist groups.”

  2. sbd says:

    AJ, how do you expect the Democrats to raise any money for their upcoming elections if their former donator’s are all in jail? On top of that, they can’t even call their “overseas” supporters without having their phones tapped and with Dean leading the pack, they are desperate. The Dems are going crazy because they are broke!!


  3. sbd says:

    Got this email today announcing a new spy program before it gets leaked to the NYT.
    The NSA and the FBI have partnered in a new project for Homeland Security. Internet surfing will be tracked by what the FBI calls a “non-intrusive method.” The FBI says you will not notice anything different. The announcement comes amid rumors that the New York Times was about to leak the new program. As a preemptive move, the NSA and FBI have provided a demonstration. Click on the link below..

    Homeland Security

    Link to Demo


  4. Bill in AZ says:

    SBD, you’re going to drive the patchouli libs nuts with that one. They’ll be cutting phone lines and cables into their homes. Someone on a moonbat site posted a link to a simple script that displays your c-drive directory in your browser window, implied it was some government agency, and the moonbats howled about it for weeks.

  5. Larwyn says:

    Remember when Kerry was touting that “world leaders” were
    telling him “we’ve got to get rid of this guy”.

    He said he was told in “meetings”. Yet no one could come up
    with any of his schedules or travel that would suggest these

    Pundits were joking about “men in expensive suits that Kerry
    must have run into in classy restaurants”.

    Agree with other commentors – the Dems and the LSM are

    LeFigero published story on the French,
    including Mr. de Villepin, thanking and praising
    America for the release of the French hostage in Iraq.

    As, American Future prefaced “here’s the most interesting part….”

    A minister was quoted as saying (paraphase) “we know they have
    all abilities to monitor communications and get intelligence, and
    some of the communications may be embarassing, so it is better
    not to incite them”

    And American Thinker had column asking if we were blackmailing
    China,Russia and France as we have lots of Oil For Food docs
    from Iraq. Odds are we have the backup of their
    phone calls too.
    AT’s opinion was that this may be reason they haven’t released
    all the Iraqi documents as Stephen Hayes of Weekly Standard
    continues to point out.

    You know something is up with the LSMers when Matthews
    actually does a rather unsympathic interview of Russ Tice on

  6. NSA Surveillance/FISA: Did the New York Times Story Make Us Less Safe?

    AJ Strata’s has been vindicated where the NSA/New York Times article in December is concerned. AJ Strata reports:The Washington Post has vindicated my suspicions on the role of the NSA and FISA. David Ignatius has done his homework and concluded

  7. […] Here I pointed out where the Washington Post vindicated my claims that there was no bypassing of FISA, but what was going on was certain people where not following THE NEW LAW as set in the Patriot Act. These changes to remove the irrational Gorelick Wall allowed a freer flow of leads amongst agencies and departments working to protect us from terrorist attack. All the claims to date revolve around the vague and confusing claim people in the US have had their communications monitored without a warrant (which happens all the time) and that NSA intel ‘tainted’ FISA warrants in SOME people’s opinion. The Post article clearly confirms the only evidence we have is leads from NSA were being passed to the FBI and used to obtain FISA warrants. […]