The FISA Amendments Act § 702, enacted in 2008, authorized the U.S. Government to compel providers of electronic communications services to assist the Government in acquiring foreign intelligence information concerning targeted non-US persons located outside the United States. Under this authority, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court annually reviews "certifications" jointly submitted by the U.S. Attorney General and Director of National Intelligence. These certifications define the categories of foreign actors that may be appropriately targeted, and by law, must include specific targeting and minimization procedures adopted by the Attorney General in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and approved by the Court as consistent with FISA and Fourth Amendment. Certifications last for one year.
The FISA Court approved the first such certification on September 4, 2009. That matter is discussed at NS-DC-0072
in this Clearinghouse.
This case deals with the second round of approvals of such certifications, in 2009. We do not currently have the filings made by the government in this case, or the court responses and orders. But there is extensive discussion of this case in a "Summary Document" prepared by the NSA Office of General Counsel and leaked by Edward Snowden. That summary is included this case record (and is also available here
. It has not been declassified from its assigned Top Secret classification.
The summary explains the changes from the 2008-A and 2008-B certifications submitted by the NSA and discussed in NS-DC-0072.
The 2009-A certification, like the 2008-A certification, covers foreign governments, factions, entities and foreign based political organizations. The 2009 version updated the list of foreign entities. The only other change to the foreign entities certification was that a notice requirement to the AG and DNI was changed from seven days to five business days.
And like the 2008-B certification, the 2009-B certification targets named foreign terrorist groups. The list of such terrorist groups changed slightly in the new certification. The only other change was, as in 2009-A, a recasting of the AG/DNI notice requirement to five business days, from 7 days.
The 2009-C certification was new, however, and covers Weapons of Mass Destruction/Proliferation. Instead of containing lists of specific targets, the 2009-C certification provides examples
of acceptable targets based on their activities.
The targeting procedures in the 2009-C certification contained no changes from the 2008-A certifications. However, the minimization procedures differ in two ways. First, they contain a clearer instruction regarding dissemination of intelligence reports to foreign governments once they have been minimized. Second, they expanded NSA's capability to obtain technical and linguistic support from foreign governments.Edward Mroczkowski - 04/20/2015