Friday, May 4, 2018

We've Got A New NSA Director

The National Security Agency (NSA) formally welcomed Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone as its New Director on Friday Afternoon.

Nakasone takes over from Adm. Mike Rogers as the Dual-Hat Leader of NSA Director and Commander of Cyber Command. He was Officially welcomed at a Ceremony at Forte Meade in Maryland, which also Marked the Official Elevation of Cyber Command.

According to an Annual Transparency Report released Friday, the Spy Agency Collected 534 Million Call Records in 2017, more than Three times the 151 Million Collected in 2016.

The Report, released by the Director of National Intelligence, is Mandated by the USA Freedom Act passed by Congress in 2015 that aimed to Restrict and Boost Oversight of the Spy Agency’s Surveillance Program.

The NSA’s Surveillance Powers have weathered Intense Scrutiny since the 2013 Edward Snowden Revelations that Exposed the Agency’s now Defunct Bulk Collection Program.

Under the Old Program, the NSA is estimated to have gathered Billions of Phone Records.

The Call Detail Records, obtained from U.S. Telecommunications Providers, include the Numbers and the Time and Duration of the Phone Call. They do not include the Actual Content of the Call itself.

“The government has not altered the manner in which it uses its authority to obtain Call Detail Records pursuant to FISA. Rather, the NSA has found that a number of factors may influence the number of Call Detail Records that NSA receives,” said Tim Barrett, a spokesman at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

“These factors include the number of Court-approved selection terms — like a phone number — that are used by the target; the way targets use those selection terms; the amount of historical data that providers retain; and the dynamics of the ever-changing telecommunications sector,” Barrett said.

The Report suggests that the Call Record Metric is likely Overstated because the Government Counts each Record separately even when it receives the same Record several times, such as from different Providers.

“Additionally, this metric includes duplicates of unique identifiers — i.e., because the government lacks the technical ability to isolate unique identifiers, the statistic counts the number of records even if unique identifiers are repeated,” the Report states.

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