Memo Shows NSA Secret Rules for Accessing US Data Without Warrants

Secret court judges not serving as the check on power, it doesn't appear


Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.

The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target "non-US persons" under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance.

The documents show that even under authorities governing the collection of foreign intelligence from foreign targets, US communications can still be collected, retained and used.

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  1. “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.”

    *except for those issued by a FISA court

    It’s right there, in the fine print.

    1. That is what the public part of the constitution says. But, what you don’t realize is that the President had a secret opinion drawn up by the Attorney General, giving him the right to make the constitution say whatever he wants, as long as a secret court approves.

      He can’t tell you what the Constitution really says anymore, because, terrorists. BUT, he did give a high-level summary to the congressional leaders from his party, so in a sense he has told the public what is going on, given that we are the government and the government is the people, so thus if the government knows something, then the people also know, by definition.

    2. but but the FISA court will provide oversight. They can’t just go out and perform a warrantless search unless they get permission from themselves. See safeguards…

    3. Works like this:

      The right of the people

      “people” now are only US permanent residents, and only in the US, and only if no high ranking government official deems them a non-person.

      “their persons, houses, papers, and effects”

      Notice that this does not list cars,
      phones, or electronic communication?

      “no Warrants* shall issue”

      This means, of course, that you can be searched without a warrant. What did you think it means?

      “and particularly describing the place to be searched”

      The internet. Particularly IP addresses to

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