But I am dumbfounded that today's backgrounder and sidebar never explain what the bill Congress passed actually does. In fact, reading them together, one would have the false impression that all the legislation does is legalize warrantless surveillance of foreign-to-foreign traffic passing through a U.S. switch. Actually, it also legalizes such surveillance of foreign-to-domestic traffic, which is what the controversy is all about.
the specific facilities, places, premises, or property at which the electronic surveillance will be directed
the identity of any foreign power against whom electronic surveillance will be directed
Lt. Keith Alexander (Director - NSA) Prepared Statement before Senate Judiciary Committee July 26, 2006
I am pleased to be here today to provide testimony in support of the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S. 2453), which would amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 ...
Today, the U.S. Government is often required by the terms of the statute to make a constitutionally based showing of probable cause in order to target for surveillance the communications of a foreign person overseas. Frequently, though by no means always, that person's communications are with another foreign person overseas.
If I remember correctly from a Wired article a ways back there are at least "fiber splitters" at key junctions. A bit of degradation and I think it was tricky to split off a piece of the light signal but it was done. Filtering the packets surely and after that I assume it's all data mining based on algorithms. At least this!
I will admit that the use of "targeted" in 1501(f) [I assume that is meant to be 1801(f)]and "directed" in the new section bothers me a bit. I would have been more comfortable with common language. But I do remember listening (CSPAN) or reading something from the intelligence community in the last week implicitly pointing out that they were viewing the two words as almost synonyms.