The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which includes the NSA, quietly posted its first ever transparency report on Tumblr this week. Complete with
“Top Secret” written on the top, the three-and-a-half page document details basic statistics about the intelligence community’s actions. It’s not very revealing. At all.
The report comes just a few months after President Obama ordered the intelligence community to make as much information public as possible. And hey, this is better than nothing! That said, it’s hard to glean much meaningful information from a report that basically just provides the number of FISA orders, national security letters, and government requests for business records. They also provide the number of targets, although that includes companies as well as individuals and, as such, is a little misleading. The vast majority of targets — some 89,138 of them — are linked to one single section 702 order.
So we knew that the intelligence community did some spying, and now we know a little bit more about how much. It is, inevitably, encouraging to see that those numbers are in the low thousands and not millions. At least, that’s what they’re telling us. [IC on the Record]