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Incidental 702 surveillance and reverse targeting.
(@ Politico) House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election.
.. he described the surveillance of Trump aides through what’s called “incidental collection,” something he noted was routine and legal. Such collection can occur when a person inside the United State communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be shielded — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances. .. Nunes suggested this unmasking might have been done for political reasons, saying the evidence he had seen had been widely disseminated across the intelligence community and had "little or no apparent intelligence value." He added that he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Казалось бы, если говорят что «легально» и «рутинно», и невинно звучащее «попутно собранное» - то в чем проблема?!

(полный текст прессера Нунеса @ lawfare):
Nunes: What I’ve read bothers me. ... I think some of it seems to be inappropriate ..
Reporter: Is it the surveillance itself that alarms you or is it the unmasking and dissemination, or both? Nunes: All the above.

Reporter: But you think he may have been spied on?
Nunes: I’m not going to get into legal definitions here, but clearly I have a concern.

Reporter: Could this have been the result of reverse targeting? Nunes: I don’t know.

[В понедельник в Конгрессе обсуждали FISA collection ФБР в контрразведывательных целях, тогда US person may be условно-легитимной первичной целью прослушки – но не в том случае, если это делалось NSA через 702. Описание “incidental surveillance aimed at foreign targets” указывает на то, что это не контрразведка направленная на Трампа. Невинный новоязный термин "incidental" неудачен, лучше это рассматривать как "вторичную"/"secondary" surveillance.]

Rogers: Yes sir. Incidental collection is when we are targeting a valid foreign target, for example, in the course of that targeting we either get a reference to a U.S. person or suddenly a U.S. person appears as part of the conversation. That's what we call incidental collecting.

Объясняет Rand Paul:
But the way it works is, the FISA court, through Section 702, wiretaps foreigners and then listens to Americans. It is a backdoor search of Americans. And because they have so much data, they can tap -- type Donald Trump into their vast resources of people they are tapping overseas, and they get all of his phone calls.
And so they did this to President Obama. They -- 1,227 times eavesdrops on President Obama’s phone calls. Then they mask him. But here is the problem. And General Hayden said this the other day. He said even low-level employees can unmask the caller. That is probably what happened to Flynn.
They are not targeting Americans. They are targeting foreigners. But they are doing it UND purposefully to get to Americans.

Более подробное объяснение дает Greenwald:
How do we know that a key purpose of the 2008 law is to allow the NSA to purposely monitor Americans’ communications without a warrant? Because NSA and other national security officials said so explicitly. … (statement of Michael Hayden) ... «certain communications “with one end in the United States” are the ones “that are most important to us”».

Nunes: I would refer to you to—we had a similar issue with members of Congress that were being picked up in incidental collection. We had to spend a full year working with the DNI on proper procedures for members of Congress to be notified.
Nunes: Well, the administration isn’t aware of this.
[Это отдельная проблема сама по себе. Видимо, процедуру-исключение для уведомления конгрессменов они оговорили, а вот для избранного президента забыли. Предположительно, Белый дом заявив о прослушке и сделав это приоритетом, попытался получить эту циркулирующую информацию непосредственно от агенств – но они не имеют к ней доступа. Как так?!]

Почему же эта информация «широко распространена»?

Rogers: [in the NSA] There are 20 individuals including myself who I have delegated this authority to approve unmask requests.[T.e.unmasking относительно жестко контролируется в самом NSA.]

(@ NYT) In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections. ...
Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

[Voila! И никакого unmasking уже не требуется.]

(@ NYT) In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information … As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it … At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government … The opposite happened with the most sensitive intelligence, including the names of sources and the identities of foreigners who were regularly monitored. Officials tightened the already small number of people who could access that information. They knew the information could not be kept from the new president or his top advisers[Кажется, им это удалось. Можно спать спокойно.]

“The warrantless surveillance conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is arguably worse than the collection of records authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said in a statement to The Intercept. [Jan-2016] “Unfortunately, closed committee sessions and insufficient congressional oversight contributed to the evolution of our unconstitutional surveillance state".

Gowdy: I guess what I'm getting at, Director Comey, is you say it's vital, you say it's critical, you say it's indispensable. We both know it's a threat to the reauthorization of 702 later on this fall. And by the way, it's also a felony punishable by up to 10 years.

Возражение Шиффа здесь для полноты картины, но оно в основном не по сути, а по процедуре.

(Х-пост и обсуждение в puppet-djt.)