[dave at farber.net: [IP] more on AP Story Justice Dept. Probing Domestic Spying Leak]

John Young jya at cryptome.net
Fri Dec 30 19:55:59 PST 2005

Keep in mind that NSA has always gathered data on US citizens in the
course of performing foreign intelligence but was heretofore supposed 
to filter rather than use it. What is different in the present case is that a 
decision was made to use the data, both newly gathered and likely that
which was stored unfilered for future mining.

What could come out of a DoJ probe is exactly who implemented that
decision and whether they were given exculpation, and if so, how was
that done and by whom. Did senior NSA officials get exculpation and
if so what precisely was it and did it differ from what those lower down
were given.

Further, members of the military performing NSA duites are given 
different exculpation than the civilians due to differing employment
and service regulations. A large percentage of interception operatives
are civilians, some former service members but far from all.

US civilian intelligence members -- State, FBI, DEA, and several 
other departments with intelligence duties -- are also involved in 
processing intercepted data and preparing it for distribution to 
NSA customers.

And there are foreign military members working at NSA as well as 
civilians -- and those are not only from UK, CA, AU and NZ but from
NATO and other treaty country participants. 

These foreign operatives are given instructions both by their own 
superiors and also by those from the US on how to handle intercepts 
of citizens from the countries who provide NSA operatives as well
as data gathered on US citizens.

There have been incidents reported of these foreign operatives
performing or processing intercepts forbidden to the US while sitting 

adjacent to the US operatives, with consequent disclosure. This
goes beyond the well-known US-UK backscratching.

Beyond orders to gather information on US citizens there is the
question of what was done to mine long-stored raw data which
has presumably been filtered. Recall NSA policy to never discard
any encrypted material gathered, none, forever. It is likely there
is voluminous material on US citizens stored and ready for
reassessment as needs be.

There have been numerous revelations of other countries storing
such data for decades, an example are the decades-long Stasi files 
obtained by the CIA from East Germany which the agency will still not
release. All countries with intelligence capabilities have such files.
And few are required to release them, such as the UK and US sometimes
do for a small number.

The US is surely not alone in amassing huge new files as a result of
the terrorism intiative, for every time there is a war there is a surge
in spying across the board, at home and overseas. 

9/11 was a godsend to the spying industry which was slowly withering 
with the winddown of the artificially-prolonged Cold War. To be sure
it has been immensely beneficial to the media industry, and a slew
of other boats lifted by the desire for more information, the dirtier
the better.

Nice to see ACLU put its Echelon Watch files back up. A while back 
we went looking for Echelon Watch files at ACLU and found a bunch 
of them through Google still on the ACLU website, but nary a link on 
the main pages.

Perhaps EPIC and others will also have a change of mind about 
Echelon after withdrawing material post-9/11.

The there's Bamford's admission that after being invited to NSA for
royal treatment and a classified briefing, he found the agency not
so monstrous. What he was briefed on cannot be revealed, apparently,
only that the place is honorably operated.

When David Kahn was doing research at NSA, he claims he refused 
to be suckered and tainted by being given access to classified material.

Big deceptions are often hidden by small ones delivered as exposes,
and those given access to secrets are customarily obliged to tell
only a sanitized version glossed with trust me the ex-trustworthy

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