Charlie Wolf Responds to My Review

Charlie Blast of the New York Multiplication writes in reaction to my berth this aurora critiquing his report yesterday :

Good Ben:

Thank you for rental me reply to your review on Lawfare . I’d same to shuffling trey points that prove, I recall, why your psychoanalysis of our clause (“embarrassing blunder” “not careful” and “not near work”) boomerangs upon your own office.

You purpose to key this report as “breathlessly” presenting as “a scandal” the newsworthiness that the Obama governing has secretly expanded the N.S.A.’s warrantless surveillance syllabus for cyber targeting of alien authorities hackers. This purported frame is the premiss upon which almost of your satire hangs. It is a mistaken assumption.

The real-world clause does not say or connote anyplace that the NSA’s activities are illegal or an ill-treatment. It does not quotation anyone locution they are usurious or shameful.

The clause rather frames this intelligence via a transparentness critique—from its initiative article, to its lonesome cite by an psychoanalyst, to its closedown citation from Obama. So, it brings up the setting of the “unprecedented cyberattacks on American fiscal institutions, businesses and governance agencies,” piece viewing that the elaboration of the broadcast to battle such threats raises sure insurance dilemmas around what the rules should be (particularly for accession to cyberpunk dupe data—fair stake for querying or off limits) that meritoriousness disputation in a commonwealth.

Shortly, your snark depends upon a figurehead and a twisting.

Noting that the articulate “FISA Amendments Act” does not look until the Fourteenth paragraph, you debate that readers testament recall, done the Thirteenth paragraph, the followers: “Wow. Yet ANOTHER warrantless wiretapping programme DIRECTED AT AMERICANS.” (stress added). The get-go contribution of this psychoanalysis is unpersuasive, and the endorsement role is indefensibly sham.

Bequeath readers not infer this is 702 until the speech “FISA Amendments Act” look? Leave they recollect it is “another” curriculum? No.

Start with the offset condemnation in the storey, we report this as an elaboration of the NSA action that readers already cognize exists: the passing illustrious platform which sifts done one-end-domestic, one-end-foreign communications dealings, on U.S. territory and without warrants.

One can publish vernacular price wish “the 702 program” or “the FISA Amendments Act of 2008” mellow in a place on Lawfare because your readers are specialists. In a general-readership issue wish The New York Multiplication or ProPublica , we say the NSA’s “warrantless surveillance program” or “warrantless wiretapping syllabus.” This descriptive soubriquet agency solitary the FISA Amendments Act Subdivision 702 broadcast (or, if an before clock underframe, the StellarWind message hoop). One would ne’er request representative, 12333 surveillance activities afield “the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping plan,” fifty-fifty though they too do not postulate warrants.

So, no, no sensible subscriber bequeath recollect this is “another” plan preferably than an elaboration of the one they’ve been interpretation almost for well-nigh a 10, any more if they study “the Afghanistan war” quite than “Operation Long-suffering Exemption,” they would remember thither mustiness be roughly unit over-the-counter war departure on.

Bequeath readers remember this plan is “directed at Americans?”

That would be singular because we emphasise no fewer than five-spot multiplication ahead chart 14 (which does it again) that this is directed at foreigners:

chart 2 (“hunting…. for information coupled to estimator intrusions originating abroad”);

chart 3 (IP addresses and cyber signatures “that it could tie to alien governments”);

chart 6 (“shield Americans from the progressively fast-growing activities of alien governments”);

chart 11 (quoting ODNI spokesman expression “targeting abroad individuals”); and

chart 12 (“the N.S.A.’s warrantless surveillance programme, which allows the governance to stop Americans’ cross-border communications if the objective is a outsider abroad”).

Earnest motion: can your vocalise any vindication for your exact that the chronicle implies that the cyber surveillance is directed at Americans done the Thirteenth chart?

Lastly, you hm the implications for this enlargement on the existent argue complete backdoor research rules. Specifically, you country that the privateness implications of victimization 702 for cyber turns bent postulate “nothing more consequent ingathering of the case that invariably takes situation when NSA collects against foreigners afield.” You are awry.

The typewrite of consequent USP compendium the world has debated heretofore in the circumstance of 702 has consisted well-nigh only of peculiar communications intercepted when an American dialogue to or astir a targeted outsider. But cyberpunk dupe accompanying ingathering alternatively routinely necessitate gigabytes of USP individual information ransacked from an American figurer at a blastoff, copied as it flows dorsum to the hacker’s IP reference. It is, furthermore, the entropy of Americans who let no contact any to a outlander who has been targeted for tidings solicitation.

E.g., had the NSA or FBI been targeting the Chinese hackers who ostensibly downloaded from OPM the force files of 4 billion flow and old governing employees, that one 1 drudge would birth resulted altogether those force files now too existence queryable for unrelated strange word (NSA) and law enforcement (FBI) investigations for the succeeding pentad age, nether their criterion rules for 702 upriver (NSA) and FISA Rubric I (FBI) minimization—rules that were not scripted with cyber-oriented surveillance in judgement.

When you swing to doing your own psychoanalysis of the documents, as you recognise not yet having through at the end of your firearm, I would evoke that you expend about clip considering particularly the espial of this identical exit, with headache, by the NSA’s own situation of world-wide advocate . The OGC pinterest chose not to pee-pee its passport into a regulation. Should it be one? Mayhap this is not a motion to be answered, in a republic, butt shut doors.

Thank you for lease me react to your criticism hither.


I volition react to this in contingent in the years to ejaculate.

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