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For years, as new data came into the NSA's database containing virtually every phone call record in the United States, analysts would search over 17,000 phone numbers in it every day. It turns out only about 1,800 of those numbers – 11% – met the legal requirement that the NSA have "reasonable articulable suspicion" that the number was involved in terrorism.

What were the other 89% of the numbers being searched for? We're not exactly sure. But we do know that five years after the metadata program was brought under a legal framework, the Fisa court concluded it had been "so frequently and systematically violated that it can fairly be said that this critical element of the overall … regime has never functioned effectively".

In another recently-released Fisa court opinion (pdf) about the NSA collection of American internet metadata, the court accused the NSA of engaging in "systemic overcollection" for years, and that "'virtually every [metadata] record' generated by this program included some data that had not been authorized for collection". The judge listed the government's "frequent failures to comply with the [surveillance program's] terms", excoriated them for their "apparent widespread disregard of [Fisa court imposed] restrictions", and accused the NSA of committing "longstanding and pervasive violations of the prior orders in this matter".

Obama lügt | Guardian

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