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Court Troubled By Surveillance Excesses At FBI, NSA (politico.com) 81

schwit1 quotes a report from Politico: In a just-released court opinion, a federal court judge overseeing government surveillance programs said he was "extremely concerned" about a series of incidents in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency deviated from court-approved limits on their snooping activities. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Thomas Hogan sharply criticized the two agencies over the episodes, referred to by intelligence gatherers as "compliance incidents." He also raised concerns that the government had taken years to bring the NSA-related issues to the court's attention and he said that delay might have run afoul of the government's duty of candor to the court. Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to reveal whether or not they ever forced a company to provide technical surveillance assistance in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
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Court Troubled By Surveillance Excesses At FBI, NSA

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  • by jewsdid911 ( 4537553 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:08AM (#51946507)
    When it reaches the point where you are forced to cooperate and keep quiet about it at basically gunpoint, it's too damn late for being "concerned". What's next, "strong condemnation"? NSA, FBI and CIA (and others) are criminal organizations, and should be disbanded, stripped of all resources, and those responsible should be tried for running an organized crime syndicate, simply enough. What the hell does your "troubled" accomplish? Zip. It's to keep you idiots in the illusion that they are doing something about it.
    • by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @11:44AM (#51947757)

      When it reaches the point where you are forced to cooperate and keep quiet about it at basically gunpoint, it's too damn late for being "concerned". What's next, "strong condemnation"? NSA, FBI and CIA (and others) are criminal organizations, and should be disbanded, stripped of all resources, and those responsible should be tried for running an organized crime syndicate, simply enough. What the hell does your "troubled" accomplish? Zip. It's to keep you idiots in the illusion that they are doing something about it.

      JFK vowed to "shatter the CIA into a million pieces", and look where it got HIM...

    • This might contain information that we can't readily put to use but it's nonetheless profoundly insightful, even if on a purely abstract level. If you down-modded it, you're a spineless brain-washed conformist but perhaps more to the point, you embody attributes that are as un-American as it gets. Please fuck off and die; you literally owe it to everyone else.
    • What's next, "strong condemnation"?

      You're jumping the gun. First you have to go through "annoyed", "exasperated" and "appalled." Then you can move on to "strongly condemning" and "deploring".

      • by tsqr ( 808554 )

        What's next, "strong condemnation"?

        You're jumping the gun. First you have to go through "annoyed", "exasperated" and "appalled." Then you can move on to "strongly condemning" and "deploring".

        I'm sure that "strongly worded letter" and "stern warning" fit in there somewhere as well.

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:15AM (#51946555)

    When the FISA court starts questioning how the FBI and the NSA are doing their job you know there's a problem. I think this is the first time I've ever heard a FISA judge question the governments credibility albeit indirectly describing it as a lack of candor. The surveillance programs need to be brought out into the light and the FISA court need to be abolished, it's a dark government corner that needs to see the light of day.

    "The court was extremely concerned about NSA's failure to comply with its minimization procedures—and potentially" a provision in federal law

    So, the FBI and NSA both went beyond the scope of the court's instructions and may have violated the law. "Extremely concerned?" yeah there's nothing wrong here.

    • by flink ( 18449 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @10:14AM (#51946985)

      So, the FBI and NSA both went beyond the scope of the court's instructions and may have violated the law. "Extremely concerned?" yeah there's nothing wrong here.

      And yet I am sure that the court will continue to rubber stamp 99.9% of all the monitoring requests it gets.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So, the FBI and NSA both went beyond the scope of the court's instructions and may have violated the law. "Extremely concerned?" yeah there's nothing wrong here.

      Just wait until the court discovers how far back this monitoring goes, and how deep it extended. They'll be suitably upset with the govs lack of candor, I'm sure, and then just maybe they'll discover how deep the corruption goes only to sweep it under the rug and continue business as usual.

    • Do they even teach Orwell's 1984 [wikipedia.org] in schools any more?
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:22AM (#51946601) Journal
    Mildly Concerned: teenage daughter is approaching (what used to be) dating age.

    Modestly Concerned: teenage daughter is indeed dating.

    Extremely Concerned: teenage daughter is dating, and it occurs to you that you know exactly what that boy wants.

    • by bentcd ( 690786 ) <bcd@pvv.org> on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:49AM (#51946779) Homepage

      Extremely Concerned: teenage daughter is dating, and it occurs to you that you know exactly what that boy wants.

      Brain Exploded: final realization that that is exactly what your teenager daughter wants too.

    • I think too many people forget what it's like to be young. Anyone here remember *just* wanting sex? Maybe a few, but considering that men rely on their partners either primarily or exclusively for emotional support, to a far larger degree than do women, I'd say there's more to it than sex. Teaching girls that boys only want "one thing," or that sex is "wrong" only leads to the neuroses we have as a culture when it comes to sex. It's a holdover from when sex was all but guaranteed to lead to childbirth a

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @11:39AM (#51947713) Homepage

    What are the ramifications if they get caught?
    We are not going to see a change until officials go to jail for domestic spying.

    • What are the ramifications if they get caught? We are not going to see a change until officials go to jail for domestic spying.

      Then we're not going to see a change, sadly.

    • We are not going to see a change until officials go to jail for domestic spying.

      J Edgar Hoover was never charged for his crimes subverting the FBI to be his personal spy network*. US government officials were as terrified of him as their counterparts were of Stalin up to the moment they both died.

      * - Some will allege the FBI has changed. Bullshit. Look who their HQ is STILL named after.

    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      What are the ramifications if they get caught?

      The court will send them a strongly worded letter stating that they will be troubled next time they get caught also.

  • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @11:44AM (#51947753)
    If a person murders someone but a state court can't be enticed into convicting them, a federal case for 'depriving the victim of their civil rights' can be generated to bring some degree of justice into the situation. Clearly here the FBI and NSA have committed this offence; the question is whether a Grand Jury has been empanelled to consider these offences, with the aim of punishing the criminals who authorised the behaviour.

    Yeah - ok - we're talking the USA here, not some well regulated democracy with a rule of law...
  • Such 'compliance incidents' are usually called 'crimes' when a civilian fails to comply with common laws and regulations and gets sent to jail.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Completely agree.

      In a police state, though, the police are not subject to the law and can ignore court orders and the law without ever suffering negative effects. They have devolved into a means of exercising power and keeping the general population in check. Which, to be fair, was probably the original role of armed thugs under government control anyways.

  • I don't understand the purpose of having the FISA court if the government can still do whatever it wants without consequences. If the *individuals* guilty of breaking the laws they're supposed to abide by are not being held accountable, the whole thing is an academic exercise at best. Until these people start going to federal prison and suffer significant personal fines, nothing is going to change.
  • These people must be sanctioned personally when disregarding court orders, just the same as everybody else.

  • When the Snowden "papers" were leaked, I took the time to read through a very lengthy report by FISA on their court on their proceedings with the NSA which included a lot of transcriptions of the proceedings. There were multiple confrontations over the NSA's failure to comply with FISA mandated restrictions on the surveillance, including the overly broad reach of some of the programs. Some of these transcriptions included laughable excuses from the NSA: "x program is complicated, we haven't had time to figu

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