Details so far on a proposed "federal cyber campus" contained within the White House budget proposal are scarce, beyond a few offhand references.
Technology has allowed law enforcement and intelligence to expand surveillance not just because it has lowered costs but because they encounter less resistance from judges and companies, Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union said.
A former Stanford University doctoral student spent nearly a decade on the no-fly list because an FBI agent checked the wrong box on a form, inadvertently nominating her for the list. Although partly redacted, the ruling reveals that an FBI agent "misunderstood the directions on the form and erroneously nominated Dr. Ibrahim to the TSA's no-fly list."
Under a planned sole-source award, the FBI will buy 12 kits from Cellebrite USA, Inc., to obtain call histories, text messages, pictures, videos, passwords, location data and more – including deleted data – from Apple, Android, Blackberry and Microsoft devices.
The bulk storage of telephony metadata by the intelligence community has had "no discernible impact" on preventing terrorism and a program for the bulk surveillance of the contents of communications crossing U.S. borders at best played a role in 4.4 percent of jihadi terrorism court cases filed in U.S. courts since 9/11, finds a report from the New America Foundation.
Leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees say they're concerned that jihadist groups are gaining new strength, partly due to the conflict in Syria.
The NSA reveled in what it termed "the golden age of SIGINT" in a five year strategy also outlining its goal for expanding authorities even while other administration officials told Congress the information age had diminished their ability to intercept electronic communications. In it, the agency notes that the "advent of the information age [has] transformed the nature of our target space" but notes that signals intelligence collection has adapted.
The new FBI headquarters will require about 50 acres of land in close proximity to a Metro station and the Capital Beltway, the General Services Administration says.
"When you're doing a La Cosa Nostra investigation, you can de-conflict by calling each other or setting up a meeting for next Wednesday," FBI Director James Comey said during a Senate hearing. "When the threat is moving at 186,000 miles per second, as a photon does on the Internet, there's no time to make that phone call."
Intelligence officials pushed back against proposals to end the bulk storage of telephony metadata, telling a Nov. 4 oversight panel that limiting metadata collection to cases when the records can be tied to particular individuals would make counterterrorism efforts more difficult.