[cryptome] Roark v NSA: Prong 2 : NSA Inability to classify and declassify information

  • From: doug <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:21:37 +0000

Dear Colleagues,

The Roark v NSA case is a landmark one, the judgement will have a bearing on how the affairs of the NSA will be conducted in the future, and whether any curb will be placed on the extensive surveillance powers which it has adopted over the last few years, and how civil liberties, in particular the privacy and security of American citizens and human rights of the rest of the world will be protected...if at all... :-).

Cross Motion for Partial Summary Judgement...
see url:

The above document makes a lot more sense...still over 100 pages long though...luverly... :-).

The NSA has been using the "Savings Clause" to extend its powers including to classify everything it does...to the point that even sending a Christmas card to the Director was classified as "Top Secret". Now, this was, in most likelyhood, an "in" joke, LOL...ha ha ha...verree funnee...etc. which just goes to show that the executives and staff at NSA are well aware of the problem regarding classification of information. Savings clauses are exceptions to the rule, loopholes put in to legislation to protect the spirit and actions of the law, to help avoid the problem of the law of unintended consequences. If the NSA were to be closed down by Congress for instance (have you ever heard of such a thing...perish the thought). The Savings Clause would protect the identity of the staff and other straightforward confidential matters. However, the NSA is using the word "activities" in the Savings Clause of the NSA Act to drive a bulldozer through the constitutional protections contained in the Act, and to try and hide all the activities of the organisation.

As Snowden may or may not have revealed... :-), there are millions of documents belonging to the NSA, as well as other government departments; which are classified in various ways. I won't go into details of the different classifications as the most important in this case are the FOUO. (For Office Use Only). and TS. (Top Secret). One of the problems is working out what all the various acronyms mean, but you can find the NSA definition at url:


If you can be bothered to read it, you will notice that FOUO documents aren't really secret, the main criteria being that they are confidential and not to be given out to Joe public...and the rules are not very strict for their care...(records kept of who has access and when, for how long, when they were returned, encrypted or not etc.)

This document is called NSA Security Guidelines and was obviously filched from somewhere, and there is no guarantee that it is either up to date or accurate. Apparently it is given to all new NSA employees and of course it is a document which will be updated many times over the years.

For those who are interested in going deeper into the subject of the NSA classification system, see url:

One of the main disputes and many disputes in this case is about how and when the NSA classifies and declassifies information, and how it decides at what level to classify it, and who does it. As equally important is how it keeps a record of those documents which have been classified, reclassified or declassified. There is a huge backlog of requests for information on documents held by the NSA, from requests under the Freedom of Information Act, to requests from the courts so that they can determine whether a crime has been committed or some civil liberty has been breached. Some of those requests go back years...even decades...and the complaint also is, that some of the requests or questions have never been answered at all. And this is from an organisation which has seen its budget quadrupled by many billions of dollars, so that it can fight the war against terrorism. Which leads to another complaint, about where the money is going...if it is being used efficiently and if it is being used to catch terrorists...or whistleblowers.

If you have got this far, I hope you have enjoyed this little discourse...as much as the pleasure I have had in writing it... :-). Next time...if I can be bothered writing it and you can be bothered reading it. I will go into Savings Clauses and software which could help the NSA fulfil its responsibilities to itself, the government, the citizens of America and the peoples of the world, without all the pain and suffering which this case is bringing up for the participants...

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  • » [cryptome] Roark v NSA: Prong 2 : NSA Inability to classify and declassify information - doug