FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Domestic Security

2010s

Aftergood, Steven. "Warrantless Surveillance of Charity Ruled Unlawful." Secrecy News, 1 Apr. 2010. [http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy]

Judge Vaughn Walker of the Northern District of California ruled on 31 March 2010 that warrantless surveillance of an Islamic charity in Oregon in 2004 violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The judge found that "the government had unlawfully intercepted international telephone conversations of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation without a warrant, as required by the FISA for intelligence and counterterrorism surveillance."

Best, Richard A., Jr., and Jennifer K. Elsea. Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 13 Jan. 2011. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL34421.pdf.

"This report provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed.... There follows a discussion of legal considerations, including whether satellite reconnaissance might constitute a 'search' within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; an overview of statutory authorities, as well as restrictions that might apply; and a brief description of executive branch authorities and Department of Defense directives that might apply. The report concludes by discussing policy issues Congress may consider as it deliberates the potential advantages and pitfalls that may be encountered in expanding the role of satellite intelligence for homeland security purposes."

Harris, Shane. The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State. New York: Penguin, 2010.

Brooks, Proceedings 136.7 (Jul. 2010) and Intelligencer 18.1 (Fall-Winter 2010), finds that "[t]here is little new" here, but there is value in the author's telling of the story, "his exhaustive research, and extensive interviews with many of the primary players. Harris traces the efforts to build massive data bases of information and communications and to structure a data-mining effort to extract intelligence from data." This "is an interesting and well-written history of how we arrived at where we are."

For Peake, Studies 54.3 (Sep. 2010), although the author "does not resolve the question of how to protect privacy and meet the national intelligence mission,... he does suggest that now is the time to debate the issue, not after the next terrorist attack."

Heekin, John P. "Leashing the Internet Watchdog: Legislative Restraints on Electronic Surveillance in the U.S. and U.K." American Intelligence Journal 28, no. 1 (2010): 40-58.

Recent developments in both the United States and United Kingdom "indicate a shift toward greater government power to implement electronic surveillance and communications intercept operations, but the mechanisms of oversight persist as well."

Liptak, Adam. "Justices Turn Back Challenge to Broader U.S. Eavesdropping." New York Times, 26 Feb. 2013. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court on 26 February 2013 "turned back a challenge" to the 2008 "federal law that broadened the government's power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails.... Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said that the journalists, lawyers and human rights advocates who challenged the constitutionality of the law could not show they had been harmed by it and so lacked standing to sue."

Marks, Ronald A. Spying In America in the Post 9/11 World: Domestic Threat and the Need for Change. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010.

Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011), notes that the author's recommendations for improving domestic security include "major organizational and congressional changes that would take decades to implement." Moreover, "Marks doesn't allow for the disruption the reforms he proposes would create in ongoing activity." This work is "a primer on major problems of intelligence in a world faced with global terrorism" and "a worthwhile contribution ... deserving of serious attention." To Bowman, Intelligencer 18.3 (Summer-Fall 2011), the author has produced "a useful, succinct recommendation for changes to the Intelligence Community."

Priest, Dana, and William M. Arkin. "Monitoring America." Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2010. [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/monitoring-america]

"[T]he United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system ... collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing. The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI."

This story focuses on "the local level. It describes a web of 4,058 federal, state and local organizations, each with its own counterterrorism responsibilities and jurisdictions. At least 935 of these organizations have been created since the 2001 attacks or became involved in counterterrorism for the first time after 9/11."

Savage, Charlie. "U.S. Pushes to Ease Technical Obstacles to Wiretapping." New York Times, 18 Oct. 2010. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to federal officials, "[l]aw enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul" the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act "that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped." Officials from the Justice and Commerce departments, the NSA, the FBI, and other agencies "recently began working on a draft of a proposal to strengthen and expand that law."

Savage, Charlie, and James Risen. "Federal Judge Finds N.S.A. Wiretaps Were Illegal." New York Times, 31 Mar. 2010. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 31 March 2010, Judge Vaughn R. Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, ruled that NSA's "program of surveillance without warrants was illegal." The judge "ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004." Judge Walker "rejected the Justice Department's claim ... that the charity's lawsuit should be dismissed without a ruling on the merits because allowing it to go forward could reveal state secrets."

Thompson, Richard M., II. Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 3 Apr. 2013. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42701.pdf.

"This report assesses the use of drones under the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is reasonableness.... While individuals can expect substantial protections against warrantless government intrusions into their homes, the Fourth Amendment offers less robust restrictions upon government surveillance occurring in public places including areas immediately outside the home, such as in driveways or backyards. Concomitantly, as technology advances, the contours of what is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment may adjust as people's expectations of privacy evolve."

Gellman, Barton, and Laura Poitras. "U.S. Intelligence Mining Data from Nine U.S. Internet Companies in Broad Secret Program." Washington Post, 6 Jun. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

NSA and the FBI "are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy....

"The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: 'Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.'"

See also, Anne Gearan, "'No Such Agency' Spies on the Communications of the World." Washington Post, 6 Jun. 2013.

Savage, Charlie. "Redactions in U.S. Memo Leave Doubts on Data Plan." New York Times, 7 Sep. 2014, A17. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The Justice Department has released a newly declassified version of a May 2004 legal memo approving" NSA's "Stellarwind program, a set of warrantless surveillance and data collection activities" authorized by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. "A more heavily redacted version ... had been released in 2011.... The new version includes previously censored references to the existence of the data collection related to Americans' phone calls and emails.... However, the government continued to redact crucial portions" that would answer "What prompted the Justice Department to conclude in early 2004 that one aspect of the program ... was illegal -- even though it permitted other aspects, like warrantless wiretapping and the bulk collection of Americans' phone records, to continue?"

Steinhauer, Jennifer, and Jonathan Weisman. "U.S. Surveillance in Place Since 9/11 Is Sharply Limited." New York Times, 2 Jun. 2015. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 2 June 2015, the U.S. Senate approved the USA Freedom Act "curtailing the federal government's sweeping surveillance of American phone records, and President Obama signed the measure hours later." The storage of bulk collection of phone records "now shifts to the phone companies, and the government must petition" the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) "for permission to search them." See also, Mike DeBonis, "Congress Turns Away from Post-9/11 Law, Retooling U.S. Surveillance Powers," Washington Post, 2 Jun. 2015.

Savage, Charlie. "Surveillance Court Rules That N.S.A. Can Resume Bulk Data Collection." New York Times, 1 Jul. 2015, A19. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The FISCruled on 29 June 2015 that NSA "may temporarily resume its once-secret program that systematically collects records of Americans' domestic phone calls in bulk.... The program lapsed on June 1, when ... Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, expired. Congress revived that provision on June 2 with a bill called the USA Freedom Act, which said the provision could not be used for bulk collection after six months."

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