20 November 2015, NYT: File Says N.S.A. Found Way to Replace Email Program

10 November 2015, NYT: DOJ: US Attorney, Southern District NY: 10 NSA OIG reports re. bulk email records collection program (PDF)

NOV. 19, 2015

NSA Declassifies Inspector General Reports About Defunct Bulk E-mail Metadata Program


In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit [1] by The New York Times, the National Security Agency has released these documents. They largely consist of inspector general reports related to the NSA's defunct bulk e-mail records collection program. The program began as part of the Bush administration's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In the spring of 2004, its legality was a central part of a famous incident in which Bush officials confronted each other in the hospital room of Attorney General John Ashcroft. That July, the Justice Department persuaded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to begin issuing orders authorizing the bulk records collection under a disputed interpretation of a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act permitting the installation of pen register/trap & trace devices, which collect metadata -- information showing who contacted whom and when, but not the content of what they said. The NSA shuttered the program in December 2011. Its existence came to light in the summer of 2013 as part of the leaks by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden.

Savage NYT FOIA NSA Release 11 10 2015 (PDF) [2]