Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options (2015)

Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options (2015)

From the webpage:

The Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options study is a result of an activity called for in Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28), issued by President Obama in January 2014, to evaluate U.S. signals intelligence practices. The directive instructed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to produce a report within one year “assessing the feasibility of creating software that would allow the intelligence community more easily to conduct targeted information acquisition rather than bulk collection.” ODNI asked the National Research Council (NRC) — the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering — to conduct a study, which began in June 2014, to assist in preparing a response to the President. Over the ensuing months, a committee of experts appointed by the Research Council produced the report.

Useful background information for engaging on the policy side of collecting signals intelligence. Since I don’t share the starting assumption that bulk collection of signals intelligence is ever justified inside the United States, it is only of passing interest to me. I concede that in some limited cases surveillance can be authorized but only under the Fourth Amendment and then only by a constitutional court and not a FISA star chamber.

I would have posted a copy for your downloading so you could avoid registration but the work carries this restriction:

Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the National Academies Press

Despite doubting I am on any list any where, still, it isn’t smart to give anyone a free shot. 😉

The main difficulty in challenging such reports is that fictions, invented by the intelligence agencies, are take as facts. Such as the oft reported fiction that bulk collection/retention helps when a new figure is identified. To enable the agencies to consider their past activities. Certainly a theoretical possibility to be sure but how many cases and what were the results of that backtracking are unknown. Quite possibly to the intelligence agencies themselves.

If you have identified someone as a current credible threat, perhaps even on their way to commit an illegal act, who is going to worry about their phone conversations several years ago? Of course, that’s where their “logic” for immediate action runs counter to the fact they are simply inventing work for themselves. The more data they collect, the larger their IT budget and the more people needed just in case they ever want to search it. Complete and total farce.

That’s the other reason I oppose build signals intelligence collection in the United States, it is an incompetent waste of funds. Funds that could be spent on non-manipulative aid to the people of the Middle East (not their governments), which would greatly reduce the odds of anyone being unhappy enough with the United States to commit a terrorist act on its soil. Despite the fact the United States has committed numerous terrorist attacks on theirs.

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