NSA has begun to remove the metadata that was recorded due to the "glitch"

    The US National Security Agency has announced that it is in the process of removing metadata about telephone conversations and text messages (CDRs), which are illegally recorded "due to a technical failure." Metadata includes detailed information about calls and text messages, including the approximate location of the subscriber, the time of the call / message, the number of the called subscriber, etc.

    The announcement on the NSA website states that “the key values ​​of the NSA are law, accountability, honesty and transparency ". Therefore, the organization makes a public statement that on May 23, 2018, the procedure for removing CDRs collected from 2015 under the Foreign Intelligence Supervision Act (FISA) began.

    “The NSA deletes these records, because a few months ago, NSA analysts noticed technical irregularities in some data obtained from telecommunications providers,” the document explains. - These violations also led to the preservation of some records, for which the NSA did not have permission. Since it is impossible to identify and isolate properly prepared data, the NSA concluded that none of the entries made should be used. ”

    “There is not a single intelligence program or authority that the NSA would not abuse, but it continues to work vigorously, sucking data and communications, while the virtually useless Congress pretends to be watching them. Numerous aspects of the activities of the NSA received a judicial kick, and sometimes directly prohibited by Congress, but the only thing that has changed is the readiness of the NSA to admit their mistakes, ” writes the blog Techdirt on this occasion .

    For at least three years the NSA carried out illegal recording of private communications, and now it will simply delete the data - and the question has been settled, no one will be held responsible. NSA feels such impunity that even voluntarilyreports on his illegal actions and “working on mistakes”, even emphasizing in his statement that “the key values ​​of the NSA are law, accountability, honesty and transparency”.

    Techdirtrecalls that it was so special in 2015. From this point on, NSA's authority to wiretap phone calls was limited. Previously, the agency recorded all traffic of telecommunications operators, then using its own tools to search for keywords in the recorded archive, if the target for wiretapping appeared. A solid record of all NSA traffic began as part of the Stellarwind program, adopted by George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Probably, the Stellarwind program can somehow be compared with the “Spring package” or with the Russian SORM, but only in the USA the program was introduced secretly from the public - the existing legislation adapted to it, namely section 215 of the Patriot Act. When, after the leak of documents of Snowden in 2013, the public learned about total traffic tapping,

    From 2015, such an entry was banned: from this year, the FISA court began to demand obvious suspicions regarding a specific goal, before the NSA can contact the telephone company and ask them to start recording. Such an order of wiretapping is clearly spelled out in the Freedom Act: you first need to formulate a goal - then request a wiretap. The previous order "first entry - then the goal" was canceled. But as we can see, the NSA was unable to fulfill the requirements of the law and after 2015 still continued to record telephone call metadata and text messages. The new system, created in accordance with the USA Freedom Act, did not work well.

    Quite by chance, due to the usual glitch, the NSA continued to record the extra CDRs without judicial permission. Reportedly, the cause of the problem has now been resolved, so that the NSA continues its exploration in the prescribed manner. Techdirt finds it odd that such a well-funded agency makes such technical mistakes.

    According to the Freedom Act, the NSA is now obliged to report how much and what it has recorded. According to reports, in 2016 calendar year, the agency recorded 151 million CDR , and in 2017 - 534 million . It is not clear whether the records made as a result of the “glitch” are taken into account in these official reports.

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