Government Releases New Batch of NSA Surveillance Documents


The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has published a new batch of documents related to the National Security Agency's surveillance powers, including partially-redacted affidavits from the heads of the NSA, CIA and FBI, and training materials for NSA foreign surveillance "adjudicators."

The 18 documents were published on the ODNI's website Wednesday as part of ongoing litigation between the government and the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the ODNI, and concern the NSA's powers under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Most of the documents are at least partially redacted, and at least one, a batch of weekly reports on 702 metrics is almost completely so.

One of of the documents, a 2015 letter from NSA Inspector General to then-DNI James Clapper, says the NSA disseminated more than 4,000 intelligence reports containing information "with at least one reference to a U.S. person." The letter does not say how many of those Americans' identities were revealed after an unmasking request, but it says a "majority" of the requests came from "elements of the United States Intelligence Community."

Another of the documents is training material for NSA "adjudicators," or the officials in the NSA who approve foreign surveillance targets. In the document, the would-be adjudicator follows the bureaucratic adventures of "Jim Smithfield" as he learns the procedures to ensure a "Targeting Request" is appropriate -- including determining the "foreignness" (in physical location and nationality) of the proposed target.

"Remember that your role as an adjudicator is at the heart of the NSA/CSS mission," the document says. "When you provide guidance and mentorship to junior analysts, you will increase the amount of foreign intelligence obtained by the analysts while also ensuring they avoid compliance incidents."


Primary Source: ODNI Release

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