Surveillance

Intelligence Officials Still Won't Detail Domestic Surveillance

We know they're watching, but not who they're watching

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Last month I wrote about how Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been rebuffed in his multi-year effort to get answers to very basic questions about how the government uses the sweeping authorities granted under the FISA Amendments Act (FISA).

Wyden spearheaded two more letters to the National Security Agency (NSA) Director and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).  Again, he was denied answers.

Wyden and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) wrote to NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, asking him to clarify his recent public statements on FISA that "the story that we have millions or hundreds of millions of dossiers on people is absolutely false."  Alexander refused to answer whether or how he could be "certain that the number of American communications collected is not 'millions or hundreds of millions'" when the administration's official position is that no one knows how many of us have information sitting in NSA files.  Instead, he claimed that his statement "did not refer to or address whether it is possible to identify the number of [Americans'] communications that may be lawfully" collected under FISA.  He even refused to define his use of the term "dossier."