So about that whole not spying on Americans thing, it seems the NSA has been having quite an exchange with domestic law enforcement. According to recently declassified FISA documents the NSA has been tipping off the FBI at least two to three times per day going back at least to 2006.
The legal rationale for the surveillance is a novel interpretation Section 215 of the Patriot Act, something that even the author of the law does not necessarily agree with.
The new documents are heavily-redacted orders from FISC to the FBI. These items request that the court order an entity (likely a business) to provide “tangible things” under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The documents do not refer to who the target is, nor which company or organization they apply to.
Why is the NSA so involved in this, I thought they just did foreign intelligence? Every one of these daily “tips” is just about foreigners? Or, could it be, that any barriers between foreign intelligence and domestic spying on American citizens have been destroyed?
For those with short memories, the DEA was also caught having an inappropriate relationship with the NSA. The NSA supplied the DEA with intelligence information used to “make non-terrorism cases against American citizens.” The information the NSA supplied helped the DEA make drug and other organized crime cases that had nothing to do with terrorism. Apparently the FBI was also getting in on the action.
The newly-declassified court orders from last Friday appear to indicate that while the FBI is being granted the order, it is in fact the NSA that is obtaining and analyzing the information first before handing it over to the FBI.
So the NSA has not only launched totalitarian surveillance systems like TURMOIL, the agency is handing over information scraped from those illegal collections to domestic law enforcement agencies such as the DEA, FBI, and IRS – who use that information to bypass their own procedural rules to comply with Fourth Amendment protections and then fraudulently backtrack to make their criminal cases seem legitimate.
Talk about abuse of power.