Saturday, March 4, 2017

The people trying to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election have been unmasked and they aren't Russian...

President Trump is now tweeting that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower right before the election.

This story is now breaking, but it appears that the Obama administration asked the secret FISA court for approval to wiretap Trump Tower back in the spring or early summer, but they were denied. They went back in October and the court gave them approval. If anything really significant had been found, you can bet there would have been a leak right before the election that would have driven a stake through the heart of the Trump campaign. Since there was no leak, we can guess nothing illegal was found. We can add the NSA to the alphabet agencies former President Obama weaponized against his political enemies. Of course, just because nothing illegal was found that doesn't mean nothing politically useful was found, but the question would be how to use it. Obama signed a last minute EO allowing the NSA to share more information with other intelligence agencies such as the FBI.
WASHINGTON — In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.
The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.
The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.
What kind of data was made available?
By contrast, the 12333 sharing procedures allow analysts, including those at the F.B.I., to search the raw data using an American’s identifying information only for the purpose of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence investigations, not for ordinary criminal cases. And they may do so only if one of several other conditions are met, such as a finding that the American is an agent of a foreign power.
However, under the rules, if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department.
The limits on using Americans’ information gathered under Order 12333 do not apply to metadata: logs showing who contacted whom, but not what they said. Analysts at the intelligence agencies may study social links between people, in search of hidden associates of known suspects, “without regard to the location or nationality of the communicants.
Did Obama gave his plants in several federal agencies access to metadata of who called who from Trump Tower? If so, this would explains the recent leaks most which have been initially published by the Washington Post.
U.S. intelligence reports during the 2016 presidential campaign showed that Kislyak was in touch with Flynn, officials said. Communications between the two continued after Trump’s victory on Nov. 8, according to officials with access to intelligence reports on the matter.
Trump is right. This is brings back memories of Watergate.

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