Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 28, 2014

NSA internal privacy audits released

Filed under: Intelligence and Info-Sharing,Privacy and Security — by Philip J. Palin on December 28, 2014

While most of us were either dreaming of sugar plums or battling traffic to get over the river to grandma’s house, the National Security Agency released a set of heavily redacted, but still interesting reports.

According to the NSA’s December 23 cover-letter:

Following a classification review, the National Security Agency (NSA) is releasing in redacted form NSA reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB). The release includes quarterly reports submitted from the fourth quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2013. The materials also include four annual reports (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) which are consolidations of the relevant quarterly reports…

The released reports demonstrate that NSA has multi-layered protections in place for signals intelligence information. These protections apply across the full spectrum of the signals intelligence process. At the targeting stage, NSA collects only those communications that it is authorized by law to collect in response to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence requirements. After foreign intelligence or counterintelligence information is acquired, it must be analyzed to remove or mask certain protected categories of information, including U.S. person information, unless specific exceptions apply. This process is referred to as “minimization.” Without appropriate minimization, NSA intelligence reporting generally cannot be distributed to other agencies—“disseminated,” in intelligence parlance—even if the other agency requires the information. Reports generated as a result of this process are subject to further constraints on access and handling.

NSA accounts for all identified errors and violations, no matter how slight, in its oversight reporting process. Internally, a wide range of NSA offices currently exercise oversight authority, including the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Director of Compliance, the Office of Civil Liberties and Privacy, and compliance offices embedded within NSA’s mission elements. Externally, errors are reported to a variety of departments and offices across all three branches of government, depending on the nature of the authority involved. The quarterly reports released today are provided to the Department of Defense Senior Intelligence Oversight Official (DOD SIOO) (formerly the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight (ATSD(IO)), which plays an important role in ensuring NSA operates within the law.

The link will take you to the NSA website where each of the quarterly or calendar year reports can be opened and read.

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4 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

December 28, 2014 @ 9:35 am

Thanks Phil for this timely post! Unfortunately none of the internal NSA organizations has delegated or vested authority to mandate changes in NSA programs, functions, and activities. They can however issue findings for NSA programs, functions, and activities and recommendations.

It is also my understanding that no person in GAO has a NSA security clearance for any NSA program, function, or activity.

Comment by Joe Citizen

December 28, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

In a world of 1.6 billion Muslims and an even far greater number of Christians, thank God for the folks at NSA when few Muslims and their leadership nor the Pope and the power of the Catholic Church are standing and shouting against the outright cold blooded murder, the shooting of children in the head and cutting their bodies in half in the name of Islam, how dare you and this silence will not bode well for anyone.

Whether one chooses to follow the teachings of Islam, Christianity or Judaism or Hindu or another, no one should be imposing themselves on another and to the Muslims attempting to push their sharia laws in the west, keep them among you and go in Peace!

God Bless humanity and to the NSA, march forward and even if you step on some toes, get the job done for We here on ‘Main Street USA” who value every human Life and very much honor our brave, the men and women who have stood on behalf of our beloved Republic and good ‘ol Glory and our Constitution, despite this trampling on our Rights and Ms. Hillary conveying the necessity to be sensitive to our enemies, hog wash….

….listen to every conversation including and every from the White House especially and the Muslim Brotherhood and to those who we released five known terrorists and those at Gitmo for We are under siege, not only as Christians, but as Americans from within and from distant shore with those fanatics taking up sword and screaming Allah when in fact, rubbish…for God is witness to all and No man has the Right to judgement against another and to brutalize women and children in the name of Islam or any other religion which they are mocking by their manipulation and unscrupulous ways….

Thank you NSA! We are so proud to have you as our front line of defense by those from within and by those who seek our demise and as the world did when knowing millions of Jews were being slaughtered some seventy years ago now and the world turned its cheek, again, churches are being gutted and burned and crosses and other religious and historical artifacts are being torn from their places. some 2,000 years or more and the world frowns at best and turns its cheek..

It is so, so unfortunate and as I have reiterated so many times, War Looms ahead, don’t kid yourself! You are in danger and so is this present generation, never mind succeeding generations….

We must strive for perfection in every thing we do and while certainly we will fall short and we will sin, when questioned about his obsession with detail on his sculptures, Michelangelo replied: “Little things make perfection and perfection is not a little thing” –

As we in the Greek Orthodox Church as in other churches and fellow Christians everywhere celebrate the glory of Jesus Christ, it is sung, “Today is the crown of our salvation” and in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians 6:11-18 and referencing Psalm 11.7, 1 we read:

You, O Lord, shall keep us and preserve us. Save me, O Lord, for the godly man has failed” –

While the world looks to America for hope, we here have been deceived and if willing to repent and we as a nation are willing to stand against the injustices we see from within, then and only then will we be again Blessed to reach to the millions of Christians being persecuted and to the Pope and even our Greek Orthodox Patriarch, your silence at this time is nothing less than sinful!

Joe Citizen

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