A Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board conducted a hearing about Section 702 of FISA today. One important takeaway: the NSA claims that the big tech companies were full aware of both Prism (legally forcing companies to open their front door) and upstream collection (tapping the backbone). The Guardian writes:
"The senior lawyer for the National Security Agency stated unequivocally on Wednesday that US technology companies were fully aware of the surveillance agency’s widespread collection of data, contradicting month of angry denials from the firms."
Marcy Wheeler points out that a big part of the hearing consisted of trying to define everyday words, such as "purge" and "search". Once again, NSA uses its very own definitions. Marcy writes:
[...] Sometimes the actual collection of data counts as a search, sometimes only the querying of it does. NSA gets to decide which is which, best as I can tell, in secret or in legal filings where it will serve to deprive someone of s[t]anding.
“Purge.” To keep. Somewhere else.http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/03/19/rosencrantz-and-guildenstern-visit-pee-clob/