The FISA Conundrum…

It is hard to believe this was written a year ago; time flies.  However, we are repeating a FISA-702 explanation thread below because as the year has evolved; and understanding FISA-702 process abuse is now the specific focus of Inspector General Michael Horowitz; there is an aspect to the FISA-gate story that must be expanded.

The United States intelligence community, writ large, will likely never allow the structural abuse of the FISA-702 system by the Obama administration to surface.  Consider it a third rail of unspoken agreement. A similar motive for the DIA to keep the Flynn file under wraps.  However, before going into the complexities of the FISA conundrum, which would also envelop any Horowitz report, it is important to revisit the basics.

We’ll break down the term: “ FISA-702(16)(17) ” into the elements that will help make sense of this story in the future.

  • FISA – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
  • 702 – An American caught up in the process of Foreign Surveillance
  • (16) – A search query based on “TO” and/or “FROM”
  • (17) – A search query based on “ABOUT” (now removed)

Again, to repeat, there are differing FISA rules for use of the NSA or FBI database depending on the originating intelligence compartment.

If a search is conducted from an intelligence compartment within the U.S. government whose objective is to ensure “National Security” there are different FISA rules than a search from an intelligence compartment not engaged in “National Security”.

The DOJ has a “National Security Division”. Their compartment rules on FISA searches and reviews are different from the DOJ “Civil Rights Division”. There are 30 DOJ divisions.

The FBI (a department within the DOJ) has a Counterintelligence Division that focuses on terrorism threats etc. A FISA search from within the Counterintelligence Division has different rules than a FISA search from the Science and Technology Division.

So, We Begin: FISA searches can be conducted on any foreign person without issue. All non-U.S. citizens on the entire planet can be searched 24/7/365 no issues. FISA searches on foreign people have no restrictions at all.

However, when the FISA search returns data identifying a U.S. citizen, everything changes. Those changes are under the identifying term “702”. A “702” is an American person associated with the FISA process; and that person has 4th amendment rights.

All U.S. citizens are protected by the fourth amendment against unlawful search and seizure. All searches of U.S. people must have a valid reason. Title III says any search for a potential criminal investigation must have a judicial warrant. Additionally, any criminal search of the FISA database must also have a warrant (technically, ‘approval’).

Any FISA searches of foreign subjects, might need FISA Court approval if the returned data includes a U.S. subject (“702”).

However, When a FISA-702 search is conducted based on the need for “national security” no approval from the FISA court is needed. Search away. If the FISA search is because of a “vital national security interest” the resulting search data can be opened, and all ‘upstream’ connections explored, without seeking permission from the FISA court.

♦A “FISA-702(16)” Search Result – would be a search result of the FBI (counter terrorism) database or NSA database that returns an American person as a result of a “To” or “From” (16) type data search.

EXAMPLE: Querying phone data (phone number) TO: Operator BadGuy or FROM: Operator BadGuy – might return a list of phone numbers that also contains an American persons’ phone number. That American person is protected by the fourth amendment. To look at the “upstream” connections of the American Person to other people, likely more Americans, the search operator would need to ask permission of the FISA Court to review the upstream results.

This is the minimization process. The U.S. person must be minimally exposed, or protected, to avoid having any specific rights violated.

[NOTE: *Exception* – the search was vital to national security. If so, the upstream phone numbers could be reviewed without asking FISA permission.]

♦A “FISA-702(17)” Search Result – would be a search result of the FBI (counter terrorism) database or NSA database that returns an American person (702) as a result of an “ABOUT” (17) type data search.

EXAMPLE: Querying everything in email ABOUT: Mohammed BadGuy – might return communication of an American who wrote a letter about Mohammed BadGuy or maybe he told a friend in a text to check out a media story about Mohammed BadGuy. To look at the email or text of the American, the search operator would need to ask permission of the FISA Court to see the email/text content.

[NOTE: *Exception* – the search was vital to national security?. If So, the email and text could be looked at without asking permission]

The “about queries” are exceptionally problematic.  The user can input a phone number, an ip address, a name, an email account, or virtually anything related to the identity of a person or group and receive thousands of search results to sort and filter.

November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702(17) “About Queries”, returns from searches, were identified by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, being conducted by the intelligence community (FBI), by “contractors” and “individuals” for reasons that: •were unauthorized; •were directly related to U.S. persons; •and had nothing to do with National Security; •and were conducted by people who did not request FISA Court Approval.

Director Mike Rogers discovered FBI contractors doing FISA-702 “About Searches” that resulted in returns providing information on Americans. Those results were passed on to people outside government.

Pg 83. “FBI gave raw Section 702–acquired information to a private entity that was not a federal agency and whose personnel were not sufficiently supervised by a federal agency for compliance minimization procedures.”

(2017 FISA Court Opinion – 99 Page Brief)

Someone inside the FBI was giving FISA-702 search results on U.S. individuals to a private entity that had nothing to do with government. Those 702 (American Citizen) results were not “minimized” and exposed the private data of the American citizen(s).

In addition, NSA Director Mike Rogers, who is also in charge of Cyber Command, discovered people within the intelligence community were doing “searches” of the NSA and FBI database that were returning information (a non-compliant rate of 85%),  that had nothing to do with “Foreign Individuals”.

Rogers requested a full FISA-702 Compliance Review.

As an outcome of that review, the DOJ/FBI compliance officer noted FISA violations. Again, the FISA Court (page 84):

We do not know how exactly many FISA-702 violations took place prior to NSA Mike Rogers initiating the full FISA-702 review in April 2016. [There were thousands during the period reviewed by the compliance audit] Nor do we know who the insider FBI individuals were; or what results were passed on; or what was done with the results.

However, given the nature of what was taking place at the time (March, April, May, 2016) it appears likely this was part of the DOJ/FBI/Fusion-GPS collision to gather information on the candidacy of Donald Trump.

CTH received a tip that Fusion GPS [either ‘individuals’ (Nellie Ohr) or the company] were one of the “contractors” mentioned, additionally the “private entity” could also be inside the Fusion GPS network (think Daniel Richman).  Another “contractor” could possibly be CrowdStrike. From all appearances there were multiple people involved.

These ‘passed-along’ FISA-702 raw search results appear to be the seeds which were fertilized by Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacobs, Nellie Ohr; “unmasked” by Obama administration officials; and enhanced/laundered by Christopher Steele – to end with a “Steele Dossier” returned to the FBI via Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok, DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr, and DOJ/FBI lawyer Lisa Page, for their “insurance policy”.

The DOJ and FBI then took the dossier, full circle, back to the FISA Court to gain 702 surveillance authority and approval (media says ‘warrant’), upon the Trump Campaign (October 2016), and President-Elect (after November 8th, 2016).

In October 2016, immediately after the DOJ lawyers formatted the FBI information (Steele Dossier etc.) for a valid FISC application, the head of the DOJ National Security Division, Asst. Attorney General John P Carlin, left his job. Carlin’s exit came as the DOJ-NSD and Admiral Rogers informed the FISC that frequent unauthorized FISA-702 searches had been conducted. Read Here.

All research indicates the intelligence information the DOJ and FBI collected via their FISA-702 queries, combined with the intelligence Fusion GPS created in their earlier use of contractor access to FISA-702(17) “about queries”, was the intelligence data manipulated by Nellie Ohr, and laundered by Christopher Steele for use in creating “The Russian Dossier”.

This entry was posted in Big Government, Big Stupid Government, CIA, Conspiracy ?, Decepticons, Deep State, Dept Of Justice, FBI, IG Report FISA Abuse, Spygate, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

385 Responses to The FISA Conundrum…

  1. AIM says:

    We must have accountability, or our country is lost.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. rogerdat says:

    **** like ***

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Karen Ruby says:

    Simply put, the Obama administration was spying on its political adversaries for years, and when Admiral Rogers discovered–and stopped–it, they had to find another way to continue it. It’s not a coincidence all outside government access to the FBI/NSA database and raw FISA information was halted in April, 2016, and that same month Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele started his work, and Joseph Mifsud met with George Papadopoulos to tell him Russians have information on Hillary Clinton. The dirty players were racing to get a Title-1 Surveillance Warrant granted before Rogers presented his findings to the FISA court. They beat him by three days.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. dahimm says:

    What is the relative likelihood that FISA-702 (17) queries, rather than being removed have simply been driven further underground by Adm Rogers action? I can’t see these power driven thought police giving up such a useful capability for destruction, regardless who is commanding it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. john edward lorenz says:

    Just like the report on the earlier IG report. Nothing will come of it unless a second special counsel with grand jury can start issuing indictments. The anti-American elitist globalists win again by firing a few and shuffling the deck a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bluebongo says:

    A great description of what we know. There is so much more we don’t and I wish I could say more.

    The T1s that were on Page, Papadopoulos, etc, were unique. They weren’t just on them, but on everything they came into contact with, everywhere. No limits. I’ve flown missions that support these things, it’s real.

    Roger’s and Flynn were well aware of this, more so than anyone else in his administration….and per the ‘insurance policy’ THEY had to go…..quickly…not Trump. Hence the firing of Rogers and the leak on Flynn. Anyone with knowledge of how the ‘system’ works was a threat. And none of these people had the means to fight ‘the process’ aka the punishment….they work for the government.

    One of the most useful tools in resistance training was to hear the person in the room next to you get ‘the treatment’. The ‘process’ that Flynn went through was ‘the treatment’, done in the ‘camp courtyard’ for every potential patriot to see.

    That is why we don’t see a mass of patriots rising up, but instead good leaks that nobody knows where they came from. Because ‘the process’ is meant to silence them. Knowing what’s coming is the worst.

    In essence the patriots are ‘married to the mob/deep state/whatever.’ The mob’s mission is to isolate Trump, not defeat him. That would risk a serious revolt and loss of power.

    Who is the mob? Not O. He’s irrelevant, like 43, Carter..

    Who wants to be President more than anyone else?

    Very serious felonies have been committed by this person, and we don’t know most of them. Who has a successful track record of avoiding penalty for committing serious felonies that we do know of?

    Trump, seeing this play out, and obviously having been briefed previously has made his choice and it’s damn clear. When ‘the treatment’ comes thru the door to ‘process’ him he’s going to fight with all he has.

    Our job is to be the guy in the next room, knowing what’s coming our way, after his ‘treatment’, and not lose faith in him. Those people are the true patriots.

    There’s only one person evil enough to enjoy all of this and be at the center of it.

    That person is the real “enemy of the people”. That person and all of their kind must be thoroughly destroyed.

    Sierra Delta, is the mission now clear?

    Liked by 4 people

  7. emeraldcoaster says:

    Adm Rogers (NSA) did God’s work when he put the breaks on the FISA abuse, notified the FISC and advised President-elect Trump. Judge Collyer (supposedly the judicial watchdog) dropped the ball—a 99-page “admonishment” does squat to hold violators accountable—should have hauled offending parties in front of her court. Chief Justice Roberts knows there’s trouble in River City…but freedom burns while the wimp sits back and watches. Argh!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Rose says:

    They spied on Trump, they planted evidence of Russian collusion using their own agents to plant said evidence. After all their unethical criminal behavior they couldn’t come up with one incident of actual collusion. Everyone involved should be facing criminal charges, including dirty FBI and DOJ agents.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. dustahl says:

    Only hope for government is if the FBI , the DOJ, the Fed, just for starters are burned to the ground, so to speak, and new fresh accountable agencies much slimmed down are put in their place. If not there will never be justice , accountability.


  10. Summer says:

    Most of us “get the picture.” The important question is why nothing is seemingly being done about all this blatant abuse of power AND the subsequent cover-up.

    One obvious answer to that question could be mass insubordination and sabotage. Hillary Clinton called it Resistance in her speech on November 9, 2016.

    You can effectively manage an organization only if everyone follows orders and faifully discharges their duty. In a normal organization, a non-compliant employee would be fired. In a huge organization called the US government, with thousands entrenched and nigh-on impossible to fire career bureaucrats, what option do you have? Especially when dealing with the “intelligence community” that blocks any attempt at oversight.

    You can fire a few political appointees but a huge bulk of the hostile bureaucracy remains. That bureaucracy accumulated tremendous power. Information is power. The most frightening thing is they have the power to ruin YOUR life, fortune and reputation and prosecute YOU for any bogus, manufactured crime but you can’t make them prosecute themselves for abusing their power. Laws are respected as long as there are people willing to enforce them. The DOJ is not willing, period.

    So, nothing has been done because not much can be done. The monster is out of control. The only solution is to slay it but that’s out of question. Don’t expect justice, it is not coming.

    Oh yeah, and half the population is okay with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Doug says:

    “”I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not there. . . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests—and it was not there. . . . .in her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not there. . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there.

    Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”:”


    In their thirst for power, the POWERFUL have become detached from what made us great.
    THE DEMISE is upon us.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is exactly why the civil libertarians, annoying though they are, were exactly right about the potential for abuse inherent in these post-9/11 intelligence tools. If a system relies entirely upon the integrity of the men running it in no time at all bad men will do what bad men always do: Bad things.

    Under George W. Bush, it appears there was a modicum of restraint exercised. Not so under the bottomless corruption of the Obama administration. Obama came in and had 2 advantages over Trump: (1) He inherited a culture of “fair play” and loyalty to the Constitutional authority of the Presidency, regardless of who the occupant was, and (2) No entrenched gang of criminals loyal to the previous President who would resist his successor.

    Obama set about finding malleable individuals who would be loyal to him personally and Leftist causes, while he systematically purged those who objected.

    President Trump has a real mess to clean up. It remains to be seen if even he is up to the challenge.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Ronnie Allen says:

    Lot has been said and written however; nothing no one is being arrested. The corruption became apparent during President Eisenhower terms. He spoke of the government overreach in his farewell speech January 1961. From then – until and thru the Obama administration the bureacrats have run amuck.

    Stopping this will require more than just firing top individuals we need to place everyone in all agency thru a lie detection process. Removing all who fail and then arrest them.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. TomA says:

    The truth about crimes conducted via abuse of the NSA infrastructure can be revealed and disseminated publicly using internet postings such as this site. In this modern technological world, the Deep State is powerless to prevent such disclosure. The Deep State can (and will) protect it’s own from legal accountability for this criminal conduct, but they can no longer do so in the dark and the price will be a growing cynicism and loss of credibility with the public. That is not a trivial price. To your list of “contractors” abusing the NSA database in service to Spygate, please add the two DC based MI6 employees who did deed at Fort Meade in full view of appalled and honorable federal employees.

    Liked by 1 person

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