CIA Buys Your Data

Here’s How the CIA Plans To Use Your Ad Tracking Data.

Matthew Petti at the Reason: For years, the U.S. government has bought information on private citizens from commercial data brokers. Now, for the first time ever, American spymasters are admitting that this data is sensitive—but they’re leaving it up to the spy agencies on how to use it.

Last week, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines released a “Policy Framework for Commercially Available Information.” Her office oversees 18 agencies in the “intelligence community,” including the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency (NSA), and all military intelligence branches.

In the 2018 case Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that police need a warrant to obtain mobile phone location data from phone companies. (During the case, the Reason Foundation filed an amicus brief against warrantless snooping.) As a workaround, the feds instead started buying data from third-party brokers.

Haines’ new framework claims that “additional clarity” on the government’s policies will help protect Americans’ privacy. Yet the document is vague about the specific limits. It orders the agencies themselves to come up with “safeguards that are tailored to the sensitivity of the information” and write an annual report on how they use this data.

As national security journalist Spencer Ackerman points out in his Forever Wars newsletter, the framework doesn’t require the feds to delete old purchased data. Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) called on the NSA to purge all data that it bought without a warrant and without following the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy policies.

More here.