via Tech Crunch
After the flurry of reports about the NSA’s alleged PRISM surveillance program earlier today, the U.S.’s Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper just released an official statement. According to Clapper, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer tocollection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.”
Clapper argues that Section 702 is meant to ” facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States.” It is not meant to be used to “intentionally” target any U.S. citizens (though the statement leaves a door open for an admittance of “unintentional” spying).
Given the outright denials of all the tech firms accused of participating in this program, including Google, Facebook and Apple, it remains unclear if the accusation that these companies knew about the program is one of the “inaccuracies.”
Here is the full statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:
DNI Statement on Activities Authorized Under Section 702 of FISA
The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.
Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.
Activities authorized by Section 702 are subject to oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Executive Branch, and Congress. They involve extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons.
Section 702 was recently reauthorized by Congress after extensive hearings and debate.
Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats.
The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence