This NSA memo, dated 3 January 2011, draws analysts’ attention to a rule change, allowing “contact chaining, and other analysis, from and through any selector, irrespective of nationality and location, in order to follow or discover valid foreign intelligence targets”: see the New York Times article N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens, 28 September 2013.
This ODNI briefing from 15 May 2007 describes the rationale for ICREACH and the scale of metadata sharing that was envisioned: see the Intercept article The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google, 25 August 2014.
This document lists the 193 governments, intragovernmental organisations and other entities which the NSA was granted the legal authority to intercept communications “about” for foreign intelligence purposes in August 2010: see the Washington Post article Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, 30 June 2014.
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.
This FISA court order dated 19 August 2010 approves an annual certification allowing the NSA to surveil commincations of and about 193 governments and other entities for “foreign intelligence” purposes: see the Washington Post article Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, 30 June 2014.
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.
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
Procedures used by the NSA to target non-US persons under the FISA Amendments Act: see the Guardian article The top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant, 20 June 2013.