NSA oversight rebuttals

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First, the audit in questioning was from the NSA Office of Inspector General which, like other OIGs, are standard auditing of Federal agencies and departments.

Second, as I said elsewhere in threads today, this is in addition to the fact that the NSA also has reporting requirements to Congress as well as being answerable to the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), the ODNI, and Justice Department audits as well as FISC.

Again, I certainly won't pretend to know with 100% certainty that there is 'enough' or robust enough oversight, but I find it odd how many seem to react when shown the very evidence and products of investigative oversight, as somehow proof there is no oversight.


Why I don't suspect the NSA[edit]

...then why are you accusing the source of being misleading...

Because 'the source' in this case strikes me as intentionally exploiting that misunderstanding and lack of knowledge by the public to make this out to be things that it isn't (i.e. hyping the crap out of it for their own ends).

That would imply they're speaking completely within the parameters of what he knows, but its the laymen (and the untechnical press) that is doing the "misinterpreting"

Not necessarily. Greenwald et al could not have a clue themselves and are simply operating on the assumption of bad faith about what they got their hands on illegally. Or they do know and exploit.

Also your point about a human not actually reading the content comes across as very disingenuous.

You are free to try and dismiss it as me being "disingenuous", but I posit it is almost a guarantee that what I was driving at is how the the systems in question works as far as the filtering and minimization algorithms. I also posit that is precisely why the NSA seeks ongoing metadata logs from the telecoms/ISPs to be able to use them as filtering data in the upstream collection to <b>remove</b> known <i>domestic</i> traffic from any keyword selector queries of the collected data that it believes to be <i>non-domestic</i> communications they do collect upstream. This also would allow the NSA to pull non-domestic IP packets that do travel over domestic fiber-optic lines which occurs all the time due to traffic load sharing, etc.

I also strongly suspect this is why the intake upstream collection purges after 24 hours-5 days. The being that the upstream collection is filtered against metadata logs to filter out from the DB known domestic sources, then the selector queries are applied to the filtered DB collections and this 'snapshot' then filtering queries method is the likely the only realistic way to actually do effective non-domestic IP data surveillance instead of some non-workable 'real-time' monitoring system.

This in turn is precisely why I am highly skeptical about the entire context of the metadata 'sweep' collections that the court order of the first Snowden published document has it completely backwards. That the metadata (which is not protected) is actually used to try and remove (and 'delete') domestic coms from the non-domestic coms as a first level minimization filtering routine.

Now you can dismiss all the above as being 'apologia' etc. but I posit this is a very sound speculative assessment of what we are most likely looking at. It is from that perspective as to why I seem to be a 'defender' of the NSA, because I posit what they are doing (from what we can piece together based on what has been reveled) shows to me how they are likely taking the valid tasking they have and do it with a large, and good-faith effort to stay in bounds and <b>not</b> go after domestic surveillance, etc.

This is why I am actually all in favor of doing what needs to be done to enable robust oversight, and do what we can to realistically prevent possible abuse while maintaining the capabilities to actually go after legitimate targets.