Thursday, December 20, 2007

FBI Recorded 27 Million FISA 'Sessions' in 2006

I know I've been doing a lot of posts on the FISA issue of late, but I just couldn't leave this one out. As more information comes to light - demonstrating why granting retroactive immunity to telecom companies would be so devastating to the fact finding process - we are learning just how expansive the administration's illegal wiretapping program has been over the past 5 years.

It should also be repeated here that the program was initiated well BEFORE 9/11...which only adds to the perception, and reality for that matter, that this program is a lot more about expanding executive power than "keeping us safe".

Now we find this...from Wired Magazine:

At the end of 2006, the FBI's Telecommunications Intercept and Collection Technology Unit compiled an end-of-the-year report touting its accomplishments to management, a report that was recently unearthed via an open government request from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


Twenty-seven million is a staggering number given that the FBI only got 2,176 FISA court orders in 2006 from a secret spy court using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
According to the math that means each court order resulted in 12,742 "sessions," all in regards to phone, not internet, surveillance.

FISA watchers have long wondered whether FISA warrants covered more than one person. Knowing how many calls or text messages the FBI captured could add a piece to the puzzle. Unfortunately, nothing in the documents turned over yet to the Electronic Frontier Foundation explain what a session is.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

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