Newly Declassified Documents Regarding the Now-Discontinued NSA Bulk Electronic Communications Metadata Pursuant to Section 402 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act   [open pdf - 119KB]

"Following a declassification review by the Executive Branch, the Department of Justice released on August 6, 2014, in redacted form, 38 documents relating to the now-discontinued NSA [National Security Agency] program to collect bulk electronic communications metadata pursuant to Section 402 of the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act]. […] Under the program NSA was permitted to collect certain electronic communications metadata such as the 'to,' 'from,' and 'cc' lines of an email and the email's time and date. This collection was done only after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [FISC] approved the government's applications, and pursuant to court order generally lasting 90 days. NSA was not permitted to collect the content of any electronic communications. Like NSA's bulk telephony metadata program under FISA section 501, this program was subject to several restrictions approved by the FISC, such as: [1] The information could be used only for counterterrorism purposes. [2] The information had to be stored in secure databases. [3] The databases could be queried using an identifier such as an email address only when an analyst had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the email address was associated with certain specified foreign terrorist organizations that were the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations. […] [4] NSA was required to destroy the bulk metadata after a set period of time."

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Office of the Director of National Intelligence: http://www.dni.gov/
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