On June 28, 2018, the NSA made the following announcement:
Consistent with NSA’s core values of respect for the law, accountability, integrity, and transparency we are making public notice that on May 23, 2018, NSA began deleting all call detail records (CDRs) acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
The Government relies on Title V of FISA to obtain CDRs, which do not include the content of any calls. In accordance with this law, the Government obtains these CDRs, following a specific court-authorized process.
NSA is deleting the CDRs because several months ago NSA analysts noted technical irregularities in some data received from telecommunications service providers. These irregularities also resulted in the production to NSA of some CDRs that NSA was not authorized to receive. Because it was infeasible to identify and isolate properly produced data, NSA concluded that it should not use any of the CDRs. Consequently, NSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, decided that the appropriate course of action was to delete all CDRs.
NSA notified the Congressional Oversight Committees, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice of this decision. The Department of Justice, in turn, notified the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The root cause of the problem has since been addressed for future CDR acquisitions, and NSA has reviewed and revalidated its intelligence reporting to ensure that the reports were based on properly received CDRs.
The NSA is effectively noting that collected call logs are infected with errors. The NSA cannot isolate or fix these errors. As a result, the NSA is actively purging all the data they have ever collected.
Which is pretty odd given that this matter was supposedly addressed back in early 2017. From Page 23 of the April 26, 2017 FISA Court Ruling:
As embodied in the March 30, 2017 Submission, the government has chosen a new course: [Redacted]; sequestering and then destroying raw upstream Internet data previously collected; and substantially narrowing the scope of upstream collection .
Most significantly, the government will eliminate “abouts” collection altogether, which will have the effect of eliminating acquisition of the more problematic types of MCTs. These changes should substantially reduce the acquisition of non-pertinent information concerning U.S. persons pursuant to Section 702.
Note: for a more complete discussion see, The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI
My first reaction was this must be related to the age-off process described in the FISA Court Ruling:
NSA will destroy such sequestered Internet transactions as soon as practicable through an accelerated age-off process. The government represents that the age-off may take up to one year to complete and verify.
But the press release was clear:
NSA is deleting the CDRs because several months ago NSA analysts noted technical irregularities in some data received from telecommunications service providers.
This doesn’t feel like a corrective action. This feels like a purge.
President Trump sent out what I consider a telling tweet:
Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
Now ask yourself why this tweet is being sent today. After all, the NSA made the announcement on June 28, 2018.
I promise you – President Trump did NOT just find out about the NSA’s actions.
And why did the President reference “The Witch Hunt”. His tweet felt like something more.
At the same time the [corrupt] Senate Intelligence Committee sent out the following press release from Senator Burr’s office:
The Committee finds that the Intelligence Community met President Obama’s tasking and that the ICA is a sound intelligence product. While the Committee had to rely on agencies that the sensitive information and accesses had been accurately reported, as part of our inquiry the Committee reviewed analytic procedures, interviewed senior intelligence officers well-versed with the information, and based our findings on the entire body of intelligence reporting included in the ICA.
The Committee finds the difference in confidence levels between the NSA and the CIA and FBI on the assessment that ” Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances” appropriately represents analytic differences and was reached in a professional and transparent manner.
In all the interviews of those who drafted and prepared the ICA, the Committee heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to reach any conclusions. All analysts expressed that they were free to debate, object to content, and assess confidence levels, as is normal and proper for the analytic process.
Senate Intelligence Committee is the mother of all oxymoron’s.
Despite attempts at explanation, Admiral Mike Rogers and the NSA did disagree with the Intelligence Community Assessment:
CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has only moderate confidence.
Actually, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers stated in Senate hearing testimony that his confidence did not reach even this threshold:
I wouldn’t call it a discrepancy, I’d call it an honest difference of opinion between three different organizations and in the end I made that call.…It didn’t have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources.
Admiral Rogers made this statement during Congressional Testimony. The loose translation is “liar, liar, pants on fire.”
Others shared his view.
The House Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of their complete report on Russian election interference – Report on Russian Active Measures. It noted the following:
Finding #16: The Intelligence Community Assessment judgments on Putin’s strategic intentions did not employ proper analytic tradecraft.
Again, if you haven’t read, The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI, I encourage you to do so. It details the incredible level of FISA Abuse uncovered by Admiral Mike Rogers.
As if this wasn’t enough, we also received notification on the Awan Case:
The Awan’s attorney always said there was nothing nefarious. Some law enforcement on the case differed and said it was one of the worst computer violation case they’d seen — involving 40+ Democratic offices. The FBI agreed with Awans. https://t.co/Bqzb2pwZuS
— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) July 3, 2018
The DOJ elected not to prosecute Imran Awan. From Rosiak’s article:
An assistant US attorney said Tuesday he would not prosecute Imran Awan, a former systems administrator for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other Democrats, for any crimes on Capitol Hill in a plea agreement that had him plead guilty to one count of bank fraud.
The Department of Justice said it found “found no evidence that [Imran] illegally removed House data from the House network or from House Members’ offices, stole the House Democratic Caucus Server, stole or destroyed House information technology equipment, or improperly accessed or transferred government information.”
The Awan Case has been an odd one. Give Luke’s article a read. He provides multiple links to related articles at the bottom.
It’s possible there’s less there than we’ve been led to believe – press coverage was pretty much limited to Rosiak. But I find myself sharing this particular sentiment:
We’re supposed to believe that Awan wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pakistan, tried to flee the country, was kept on DWS’s payroll…
All for the no-jail offense of lying on a home equity application? pic.twitter.com/Ta7boWELut
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) July 3, 2018
I don’t mean to sound overly down.
Make no mistake, we’re winning. On practically every level.
The economy, regulation, judges, the Supreme Court. Add your own favorite here.
Holdover resignations from the FBI and DOJ have been unprecedented. Sessions is making huge strides on human trafficking and gangs.
North Korea is de-nuclearizing. The Iranian Mullahs are finding themselves increasingly isolated. The Middle East is in the midst of a fundamental transformation.
Democrats have reluctantly embraced the extreme ideological Progressive Wing of their party – and it’s proving their downfall.
Forget Blue Wave. It’s the Blue Whirlpool.
Obama’s legacy is being unraveled. Our country is in the midst of a rebirth.
President Trump is going to win in 2020 easily.
But today left me unsettled.
The NSA CDR deletion feels remarkably like the end result of some far larger game being played on a field we can’t see. Or play on.
Sundance re-posted an article from March 13, 2018 today:
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) July 3, 2018
Washington DC Chaff and Countermeasures…
That summed today up pretty succinctly.