90 Miles From Tyranny : Which Biden Official Asked The NSA To Unmask Tucker Carlson?

Friday, July 30, 2021

Which Biden Official Asked The NSA To Unmask Tucker Carlson?

Immediate steps must be taken to stop this abuse of U.S. intelligence agencies to weaponize intelligence against American journalists.

Last week, a National Security Agency (NSA) investigation quietly confirmed Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s allegation that it had collected his electronic communications. The NSA also admitted the content of Carlson’s communications was leaked to the press after they “unmasked” Carlson’s name to a Biden administration official.

The NSA cannot legally target the communications of Americans without an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court. However, such communications are often “incidentally” collected when an innocent American communicates with a legitimate NSA target, such as someone believed to be under the control of or collaborating with a hostile foreign power.

When this happens, the name of the innocent American is supposed to be “masked,” or redacted. Senior U.S. officials are permitted to request the name of a masked American cited in an NSA report if the name is necessary to understanding the report. If the NSA approves an unmasking request, the name of the masked American is only briefed to the requesting official, who is advised that this information is extremely sensitive and cannot be revealed to others without the NSA’s permission.

After the Obama administration abused this process to obtain information from NSA reports about Trump campaign officials in 2016, the Trump administration adopted strict rules for unmasking requests.

The leaks to the press of NSA collection of Tucker Carlson’s electronic communications suggest the Biden administration either did away with the Trump administration’s rules on unmasking requests, or is ignoring them. In light of this obvious partisan abuse of a U.S. intelligence agency, Congress must press the Biden administration to answer several questions about the Carlson matter:

First, who made the unmasking request for Carlson’s name from NSA reporting? And will this person be held accountable for leaking classified information?

Second, does the Biden administration have a policy on requests by senior officials to unmask the names of Americans from intelligence reports? If so, how is this policy being enforced?

The leaking of Carlson’s identity by Biden officials is a serious matter because it appears to confirm the Biden administration’s use of U.S. intelligence agencies to target its political enemies. But there’s an even more serious concern here: spying on journalists and leaking...

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1 comment:

  1. The only way to stop this insanity is to destroy all the servers that hold all the bits and bytes of past communications, and also destroy the organization that collects them.
    There'll be no in between.


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