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DNI/AG 702(g) Certification 2010-A

This 2010 certification from the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General asserts that procedures are in place to ensure foreign intelligence gathering stays within the boundaries of the law by targeting people “who are reasonably believed to be outside the United States.” The breadth of the authority is, however, very wide, allowing surveillance of communications “about” 193 countries and other entities specified in a separate document: see the Washington Post article Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, documents show, 30 June 2014.

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Edward Snowden speaks to the Council of Europe

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On 8 April 2014, Edward Snowden gave testimony to the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights by video link. As with his previous testimony to the European Parliament, Mr Snowden used his statement to elaborate on topics that had been previously outlined by journalists. Topics covered include data mining, XKeyscore fingerprinting and the surveillance of Amnesty and other human rights organisations. Mr Snowden also confirmed that we can expect to see “more, and more specific” reporting on NSA attempts to change legal regimes overseas.

The Council of Europe is preparing reports on mass surveillance and on the protection of whistleblowers, which will be published before the end of this year. This is the first hearing supporting those reports; a second will be held on 24 June. Legal challenges to GCHQ’s activities have also been lodged in and fast-tracked by, the European Court of Human Rights.

Audio and video records of the event are available and a full transcript follows below. There are several occasions where the video link was interrupted; these are marked in the transcript.

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NSA monitors calls of world leaders

Senior officials in the US government provided the NSA with contact phone numbers of foreign political and military leaders, which were monitored for foreign intelligence information. The US government informants were dubbed “rolodexes”, and an internal NSA memo reveals that one official handed over 200 contact numbers, which included those of 35 world leaders. Although those contacts did not ultimately provide much “reportable intelligence”, the memo indicates that they provided leads to several other numbers to monitor.

Read more at the Guardian: NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts