More answers have been provided to Senate Intelligence Committee questions (most of those penned by the always-inquisitive Ron Wyden) by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Some, like how often the NSA “incidentally” collects domestic communications, remain unanswered. But the ODNI’s answers [PDF] — given to the Committee in July — have finally been made public. There are a few things worth noting in this rare display of transparency. (By which I mean a lack of redactions, rather than expansive openness by the ODNI).
To begin with, the ODNI argues the new amicus position created by the USA Freedom Act is harmful to national security. Its theory? Any delays caused by the introduction of some semblance of an adversarial process only slows the NSA down.
The appointment of an amicus curiae is not without effect. Notably, it is likely to increase the time needed for the government to obtain the authorities it is seeking. For instance, in 2015 when the F