14 August 2013
FISA Compliance Horse Droppings
Examining and comparing these three declassified semi-annual reports on
compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act 2008 Amendment
prepared by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence:
2013-1018.pdf FISA 2008 Compliance March 2009 (8.0MB)
2013-1017.pdf FISA 2008 Compliance December 2009 (8.8MB)
2013-1016.pdf FISA 2008 Compliance May 2010 (8.4MB)
Despite the most heavily redacted and variable portions concerned fulfilling
FISA requirements, and numerous instances of insufficient compliance, the
three conclude in similar language:
Three reports: "The number of compliance incidents remains small, particularly
when compared with the total amount of activity."
December 2009: "The joint oversight team has been informed that information
collected as a result of these incidents has been or is being purged from
data repositories, an important factor given the recurrence of incidents."
Three reports: "Certain types of compliance incidents continue to occur,
indicating the need for continued focus on measures to address underlying
Increasing redacted portions appear to describe the recurring incidents,
their causes and various measures to address them -- with little progress.
Imagine the ceremonial dancing between the DoJ-DNI oversight team and the
operators being secretly ordered to produce actionable intelligence by breaking
bounds of compliance with the understanding that ceremonial rubber-stamp
conclusions will be ceremonially reported to Congress in accord with the
ceremonial rubber-stamps of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,
the Foreign Intelligence Court of Appeal, the President and the Congress.
Then if publicly challenged, to ceremonially release declassified horse droppings
in lieu of actionable public information.