Surveillance: NSA Warrantless Wiretapping

NSA Factsheets Taken Down---For Reasons of Accuracy

By Benjamin Wittes
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 6:34 AM

This, from the estimable Josh Gerstein of Politico, is disspiriting:

Following a complaint from two senators, the National Security Agency has removed from its website two fact sheets designed to shed light on and defend a pair of surveillance programs. Users now trying to access the documents detailing surveillance under legal authorities known as Section 215 and Section 702 receive an error message when they try to load the fact sheets.

On Monday, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) wrote to the head of the spy agency alleging that one of the documents was misleading and inaccurate. The senators claimed, without elaborating, that a fact sheet “contains an inaccurate statement about how the section 702 authority has been interpreted by the U.S. government.”

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander responded to the two lawmakers Tuesday, and while he didn't admit inaccuracy, he said the documents could have been clearer.

"After reviewing your letter, I agree that the fact sheet that the National Security Agency posted on its website on 18 June 2013 could have more precisely described the requirements for collection under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act," Alexander said in a letter of his own (posted here).