Courage our network

Changes to Handling of FAA-702 Collection

This internal NSA memo from SIGINT Director Teresa H Shea shows how the agency reacted to a October 2011 ruling of the FISA court, which was declassified after Edward Snowden’s revelations began. The ruling found that NSA had been intercepting the communications of non-targeted persons in the United States, violating the Fourth Amendment. The memo announces minimal changes to the Agency’s procedures, which the agency finally admitted were lacking in 2017, when it finally amended its mode of collection: see the Intercept article The Wiretap Rooms: The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs In Eight U.S. Cities, 25 June 2018.

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Regin malware linked to GCHQ’s Operation Socialist

24 November 2014 – Over the past 24 hours, security companies have released information about an advanced malware tool called Regin.

Symantec described Regin as “a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen”, concluding that the “capabilities and the level of resources behind Regin indicate that it is one of the main cyberespionage tools used by a nation state.”

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Edward Snowden speaks to the Council of Europe


On 8 April 2014, Edward Snowden gave testimony to the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights by video link. As with his previous testimony to the European Parliament, Mr Snowden used his statement to elaborate on topics that had been previously outlined by journalists. Topics covered include data mining, XKeyscore fingerprinting and the surveillance of Amnesty and other human rights organisations. Mr Snowden also confirmed that we can expect to see “more, and more specific” reporting on NSA attempts to change legal regimes overseas.

The Council of Europe is preparing reports on mass surveillance and on the protection of whistleblowers, which will be published before the end of this year. This is the first hearing supporting those reports; a second will be held on 24 June. Legal challenges to GCHQ’s activities have also been lodged in and fast-tracked by, the European Court of Human Rights.

Audio and video records of the event are available and a full transcript follows below. There are several occasions where the video link was interrupted; these are marked in the transcript.

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Recommended Requirements for cryptanalysts at CCs in Texas, Georgia and Hawaii to access NSA and FBI FISA material

This NSA Staff Processing form from 6 September 2006 describes some of the problems relating to the expansion of the raw FISA information made available to NSA field offices. Referring to different classes of FISA information being stored together the memo concludes that “it is possible that there are already FISA violations resulting from the way data has been stored in these databases”: see the New York Times article How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies’ Reach, 12 March 2014.

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