Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011

Ellen Nakashima
The Washington Post

The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years — and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used…


The article continues at The Washington Post.


Update:   At Instapundit, NOT SURPRISING: NSA Can Tap Into Your Smartphone Data.


Update 2:   Bush Administration Reaches Through Time To Mind-Control Obama Into Setting the NSA Loose

Will the perfidy of the Bush administration never cease? Even from beyond the political grave, the former president reaches out with his civil liberties-violating will to mind-control the current chief executive into loosening restrictions on the National Security Agency. That must be what happened, anyway. How else to explain why the oh-so constitutionally respectful President Barack Obama would successfully prevail upon the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the NSA imposed under the previous administration?…


Update 3: More Instapundit:

FOR THIS TO WORK, IT’LL NEED STATUTORY DAMAGES AND A WAIVER OF OFFICIAL IMMUNITY: Legislation Seeks to Bar N.S.A. Tactic in Encryption. ” After disclosures about the National Security Agency’s stealth campaign to counter Internet privacy protections, a congressman has proposed legislation that would prohibit the agency from installing ‘back doors’ into encryption, the electronic scrambling that protects e-mail, online transactions and other communications. Representative Rush D. Holt, a New Jersey Democrat who is also a physicist, said Friday that he believed the N.S.A. was overreaching and could hurt American interests, including the reputations of American companies whose products the agency may have altered or influenced.”



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