The Washington Post reports on a newly declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinion from 2011. The 85-page opinion, released by U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday, states that the NSA estimated the agency had collected as many as 56,000 “wholly domestic” communications per year. In the opinion, FISC Chief Judge John D. Bates wrote, “For the first time, the government has now advised the court that the volume and nature of the information it has been collecting is fundamentally different from what the court has been led to believe,” adding in a footnote, “The court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding NSA’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program.” (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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