Congressional memoranda about NSA violations of FISC metadata orders

Memorandum of February 25, 2009

On February 25, 2009, the Staff Director of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence received a memorandum on compliance incidents involving telephony and electronic communications metadata. The memorandum, which was released by the DNI on October 28, 2013, reports on compliance incidents of which involved the NSA’s use of two automated processes for querying telephony metadata. It also indicates that the NSA had incorrectly described one of the processes in a report to the FISC. In an internal review, the NSA had also found that a manual querying process did not conform to the FISC’s orders. The memorandum makes clear that the NSA was also operating an electronic communications metadata program. In a review directed by the FISC, the NSA had found that one particular process in the electronic communications metadata program did not conform to the FISC’s orders.

Memorandum of September 10, 2009

The NSA provided the Senate Select Committee with a 2-page memorandum in regard to the FISC’s restoration of its authority to determine selectors. The memorandum, released by the DNI on October 28, 2013, reports that on September 1, 2009, the NSA provided FISC Judges Bates, Walton and Hogan with briefings and demonstrations regarding the NSA’s methods for operating the telephony metadata. Without providing any details about the presentation, the memorandum states that on September 3, 2009, Judge Bates signed a renewal order for the program that restored the NSA’s authority to determine whether the requisite reasonable articulable suspicion (“RAS”) existed to use specific telephone numbers as “seeds” for querying the telephony metadata database. As indicated at Section 4(b) above, on March 9, 2009, Judge Bates had determined that due to numerous compliance incidents, the FISC would need to approve RAS determinations on a case-by-case basis.

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