Sea Control 7: Defense Knitting Circle

Sea-ControlGrant Greenwell and Chris Barber join us for the 7th edition of Sea Control. We careen around the road, covering with particular attention intelligence collection, the DDG-1000, and force planning for Amphibious Operations. Join us for Episode 7, the Defense Knitting Circle (Download).

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8 thoughts on “Sea Control 7: Defense Knitting Circle”

  1. Re spying on foreign officials, an aspect I think many may have missed is that NSA is pulling signals out of the air, and until they decode it, they don’t know who it is from or to, so it is impossible to say we will spy on some people but not on others.

  2. While there are legitimate policy concerns in the NSA mess, I must say that Captain Renault must be working overtime, shocked as he is to find gambling in casinos. I wonder if Merkel knew about GAMMA GUPPY and the benefits it may have had for Germany?

  3. Matt – the glaring comment that stuck out to me (not sure if you meant it literally), but you said something along the lines of people associating with foreigners somehow lose their rights to not be spied upon…this is 100% wrong under the current intel oversight system. It is illegal for “Intel agencies” to collect against “US persons” (a category which includes citizens and people physically in the US, as well as a bunch of other categories of people and organizations). NSA would still need a warrant from the FISA court to approve collection against an avowed member of Al Qaeda if he happened to be a US citizen abroad actively collaborating with bad guys. The big unresolved issue with the debate ignited by Snowden’s actions is whether or not this makes sense with the internet today, in which communications between non-Americans abroad often still transit the US since they’re enabled by Google/Facebook/Hotmail/Yahoo/etc…thus requiring a FISA warrant. The Patriot Act just muddled things and the whole process needs to be rethought and reformed in a way that helps collection and protects civil liberties, but fat chance that happens now

    1. What I meant, and perhaps this is wrong as well, is that communiques from Americans to those without US citizenship that an agency is interested in can be monitored, the idea being that communication is two-way (you listen to both voices on a phone call, not just one) as long as the subject of the investigation is not the American. In that, if you choose to communicate with someone within the jurisdiction of an intelligence agency (IE: Anyone not a US citizen), those communications to that person may be monitored. But, again, I might have that wrong.

      1. If what you’re saying is that it is legal to collect against comms between a US person and a foreigner, that is wrong as well. NSA (or the other agencies) can’t collect against a US person without a warrant from the FISA court…that act is an authorization which effectively transforms espionage into law enforcement. US persons have a right not be spied upon…they don’t have a right to not have law enforcement investigate them if suspected of committing crimes. Just like in a cop show, you’re supposed to have some sort of a justification to get that warrant. Civil Libertarians and IC critics of all stripes (not just the hardcore wikileaks-type people) feel that the FISA court is just a rubber stamp which doesn’t make NSA sweat too hard to get those warrants…we really have no idea if that’s true since it is a secret process.

        Foreigners, including senior political leaders of allied countries have no rights to not be collected against (expecting the intel sharing agreement between the 5 Eyes countries). That is a simple risk/reward proposition, however, in which the state doing collection looks stupid when it gets caught, especially if it never got anything of value.

        1. Not against the US personnel, but against a foreign contact who happens to be receiving communications from a US national. The way I’ve always envisioned it is kinda like executing a search warrant on someone’s garage; yeah, the lawnmower in there belongs to the neighbor, but you allowed to look at whatever has come into that garage. Is this incorrect?

          1. I’m not a siginter, so I’m not sure how you’d listen to only one end of a conversation. That aside, in your example above, per intel oversight rules, what would happen in practice is that the after collecting against a conversation between a US and non-US person, the collector is supposed to report the “inadvertant” collection against a US person, and get permission to justify continued collection against that target.

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