Tony Schwartz

It is 8:23 am. Possibly I should have woke up more and thought about this for more than 15 min before potentially embarrassing myself.

I am curious, are my questions stupid, have they been asked before - has FOIA been filed, how can I tell?  Despite being my money my wife has given me a $40 max budget.  If I reach into that can Mucksters help me better articulate my thoughts?  Is it the opinion of Mucksters these are dumb questions, that is ok.  Or have you been wondering too? Might they be beneficial? Surly there is a FOIA in here somewhere.

Background: “The system can only be accessed by 22 specially trained NSA analysts”  Keith Alexander Agreed with this figure at BHC 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Sg4AtcW0LU (22:00 min) ” Only 22 can get a number approved for further analysis…  They have to “prove” to a court (FISC-) I assume criteria is met.”  22:50 35 analysis’s who have been put through 3 separate training regimens and pass tests.”

He mentions about the necessity of training and passing tests again at 28:50.  Then yet again a few more times.  FAA 702 (Prism).  This comes up in other hearings, discussions & talks.

I am curious about what kind of training, tests and manuals these individuals receive to be granted access to america’s most protected “LockBox”.  A “lockbox” which contains the personal property (information and data) created by Americans guilty of no crime.  This “LOCKBOX” contains the property of as many Americans as they can humanly/technologically possible “collect” (insert secret definition of collections).

1) What kind of training 2) Can we see the Manuals 3) What kind of tests - can I see? 4) What separates the 22 from the 35 5) Information on the specifics about the 22 “proving” to the courts there is reasonable suspicion. Is there a text book definition NSA has relevant to this? What criteria do these 22 need to meet prior to passing this on to the 35? 6) On linked in/other IC forums there are well over 55 people with “Prism”/Xkeyscore training listed in their qualifications - WTHeck? http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/speeches_testimonies/2013_08_09_the_nsa_story.pdf

I have hundreds of questions MY GOD!  Lets stick to this scope though. In my mind I also wonder how this differs from Xkeyscore?; How many have access to that. How does Res Arti Sup work there. My understanding - the suspicion is simply typed in by an analysis. Do we have FOIA filed on this?; After 2 month of listening to over 30hrs of congressional hearings some 2-3 hours long. This shit is so damn confusing.

I do not mind not getting a reply if it is the professional opinion of Mucksters this is wasteful. Tony

Michael Morisy

Thanks for the question, and apologies for the delay in responding.

Training materials for these types of programs are highly likely to be classified and thus, a FOIA request won’t net you anything.

When writing requests for this kind of information, your best bet is:

  • To look for programs that have been declassified.
  • Look for regular reporting requirements, such as privacy impact assessments, that an agency has to do regarding a program and are generated for the public benefit.

In regards to the former point, once public officials start speaking, on the record, about programs, it’s much more likely that parts of the programs have been declassified, but you don’t know until you file.

Unfortunately for document seakers, the NSA has broad classification authority for much of its operations, and so unless a public official has gone on the record detailing some of those operations, and you can cite that, you’re unlikely to get much back.

Hope this is helpful.

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