Times Hammers NSA for Inspector General Info


     MANHATTAN (CN) – Dogged in pursuit of hidden national security-related documents, the New York Times and investigative reporter Charlie Savage are returning to federal court to demand the release of the National Security Agency’s inspector general reports.
     The March 31 complaint in the Southern District of New York comes in a long line of Freedom of Information Act battles that Savage and the paper have fought here before.
     Such prior lawsuits have involved documents on FBI terrorism investigations, CIA videotape destruction, Guantanamo health care, targeted killing and the “President’s Surveillance Program.”
     Tuesday’s lawsuit returns to another frequent topic of Savage’s investigations: NSA mass surveillance.
     Savage says he placed his Jan. 12 request for “copies of – and declassification review of, as necessary – all NSA Inspector General Reports” in three categories.
     He wants to learn how the NSA scoops up content under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended in 2008, and its predecessor, the Protect America Act; bulk phone records under section 215 of the Patriot Act; and bulk Internet metadata under FISA’s pen register / trap and trace provision.
     The request also seeks “the special study assessing management controls” mentioned in a March 4, 2013, report by George Ellard and Rajesh De to the Intelligence Oversight Board.
     Savage says the NSA denied expedited processing of his request, and then never followed up on it.
     The Times and Savage are represented again by in-house counsel David McCraw.
     On his Twitter feed, Savage credited his idea for this information request to journalist Marcy Wheeler, who runs the prominent national-security blog Emptywheel.

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