Charles Savage

P - Z

Savage, Charlie. "President Weakens Espionage Oversight: Board Created by Ford Loses Most of Its Power." Boston Globe, 14 Mar. 2008. []

President Bush issued an executive order in late February 2008 stripping the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) of much of its authority. President Ford created the IOB "following a 1975-76 investigation by Congress into domestic spying, assassination operations, and other abuses by intelligence agencies."


Savage, Charlie. "Redactions in U.S. Memo Leave Doubts on Data Plan." New York Times, 7 Sep. 2014, A17. []

"The Justice Department has released a newly declassified version of a May 2004 legal memo approving" NSA's "Stellarwind program, a set of warrantless surveillance and data collection activities" authorized by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. "A more heavily redacted version ... had been released in 2011.... The new version includes previously censored references to the existence of the data collection related to Americans' phone calls and emails.... However, the government continued to redact crucial portions" that would answer "What prompted the Justice Department to conclude in early 2004 that one aspect of the program ... was illegal -- even though it permitted other aspects, like warrantless wiretapping and the bulk collection of Americans' phone records, to continue?"

[FBI/DomSec/10s; NSA/14]

Savage, Charlie. "Surveillance Court Rules That N.S.A. Can Resume Bulk Data Collection." New York Times, 1 Jul. 2015, A19. []

The FISCruled on 29 June 2015 that NSA "may temporarily resume its once-secret program that systematically collects records of Americans' domestic phone calls in bulk.... The program lapsed on June 1, when ... Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, expired. Congress revived that provision on June 2 with a bill called the USA Freedom Act, which said the provision could not be used for bulk collection after six months."

[FBI/DomSec/10s; NSA/10s/15]

Savage, Charlie. "U.S. Pushes to Ease Technical Obstacles to Wiretapping." New York Times, 18 Oct. 2010. []

According to federal officials, "[l]aw enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul" the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act "that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped." Officials from the Justice and Commerce departments, the NSA, the FBI, and other agencies "recently began working on a draft of a proposal to strengthen and expand that law."


Savage, Charlie. "White House Seeks to Clarify F.B.I. Powers vis-à-vis E-Mail." New York Times, 29 Jul. 2010. []

The Obama administration has asked Congress "to include a provision in the 2011 intelligence authorization bill modifying the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which forbids companies that handle electronic communications ... to reveal customer information without a court warrant. The act makes exceptions for information relevant to national-security investigations, when speed can be essential." For example, F.B.I. agents can "issue a 'national-security letter' requiring a company to turn over records listing the phone numbers someone has called, although a warrant is still required to eavesdrop on the content of calls. The proposal would add 'electronic communication transactional records' -- like e-mail addresses used in correspondence and Web pages visited -- to a list of the categories of information that F.B.I. agents can demand."


Savage, Charlie, and Laura Poitras. "How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies' Reach." New York Times, 12 Mar. 2014, A1. []

Documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden "help explain how the court evolved from its original task -- approving wiretap requests -- to engaging in complex analysis of the law to justify activities like the bulk collection of data about Americans' emails and phone calls."


Savage, Charlie, and James Risen. "Federal Judge Finds N.S.A. Wiretaps Were Illegal." New York Times, 31 Mar. 2010. []

On 31 March 2010, Judge Vaughn R. Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, ruled that NSA's "program of surveillance without warrants was illegal." The judge "ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004." Judge Walker "rejected the Justice Department's claim ... that the charity's lawsuit should be dismissed without a ruling on the merits because allowing it to go forward could reveal state secrets."

[FBI/DomSec/10s; NSA/10]

Savage, Charlie, and Scott Shane. "Intelligence Improperly Collected on U.S. Citizens." New York Times, 17 Dec. 2009. []

According to documents released by the Justice Department on 16 December 2009 in connection with a FOIA lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, DHS's intelligence office has "improperly collected information about American citizens or lawful United States residents."


Savage, Charlie, and Scott Shane. "Secret Court Rebuked N.S.A. on Surveillance." New York Times, 21 Aug. 2013. []

According to a secret ruling made public on 21 August 2013, Judge John D. Bates, then serving as chief judge on the FISC, "sharply rebuked" NSA in 2011 "for repeatedly misleading the court" about a "program that systematically searches the contents of Americans' international Internet communications, without a warrant, in a hunt for discussions about foreigners who have been targeted for surveillance."

[NSA/10s; Overviews/Legal/FISA/FISC]

Savage, Charlie, Edward Wyatt, and Peter Baker. "U.S. Confirms That It Gathers Online Data Overseas." New York Times, 6 Jun. 2013. []

The DNI confirmed on 6 June 2013 that the United States "has been secretly collecting information on foreigners overseas for nearly six years from the nation's largest Internet companies like Google, Facebook and, most recently, Apple, in search of national security threats." This is a separate program from the "seven-year effort to sweep up records of telephone calls inside the United States."

"The Internet company program appeared to involve eavesdropping on the contents of communications of foreigners. The senior administration official said its legal basis was the so-called FISA Amendments Act, a 2008 law that allows the government to obtain an order from a national security court to conduct blanket surveillance of foreigners abroad without individualized warrants even if the interception takes place on American soil."


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