Title: FISA: Teaming with the FBI in the Global War on Terrorism

Release Date: 2017-11-30

Document Date: 2005-08-17

Description: This 2005 article from the NSA internal newsletter SIDToday makes it clear that, at that time, 40% of all the agency’s counterterrorism information was drawn from FISA sources, in collaboration with the FBI: see the Intercept article NSA Secretly Helped Convict Defendants in U.S. Courts, 30 November 2017.

Document: DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
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(U) FISA: Teaming with the FBI in the Global War on Terrorism

FROM:

Special Source Operations (S332)

Run Date: 08/17/2005

(TS//SI) Did you know that 40% of all NSA Counterterrorism (CT) reporting is derived from
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) collection? Metadata from FISA collection is
forwarded to TRAFFICTHIEF , which is a development effort supporting the CT mission that
provides cross-access messaging and tip-off service to analysts and collection systems across
the NSA.

(U) The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act governs the conduct of certain electronic
surveillance activities within the United States to collect foreign intelligence information. For
more details, see the FISA FAQ: | .

(TS//SI) NSA gets most of its CT-related FISA collection from the FBI. The FBI collects,
formats, and disseminates international terrorism-related FISA intercept to NSA, CIA, and
internally to FBI agents and analysts. The Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) is the FBI
unit responsible for all FISA data collections. DITU is located at the FBI's Engineering Research
Facility on the grounds of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

(TS//SI) In September 2004, I started working full-time in the DITU. This is the first time that a
NSA employee has been integrated into the DITU. My job was to build upon the existing
relationship between NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO/S332) Office and the FBI while also
addressing some of the FISA collection issues unique to NSA. While NSA, CIA, and FBI all receive
copies of the raw FISA collection, each agency uses their own reviewers and has their own
priorities. For example, TRAFFICTHIEF tipping requires that metadata be delivered to NSA as
quickly as possible while FBI analysts generally don't consider the metadata nearly as time-
sensitive.

(S) While it has been challenging dealing with the constant flow of FISA data, the most difficult
part of my job is balancing the requirements of NSA and the rest of the Intelligence Community
with the capabilities and limitations of the providers. The FBI meets periodically with data
providers, which includes me as the NSA/SSO representative. Access to the providers has
allowed me to discuss new collection capabilities and tailor the format of the data according to
NSA requirements. This is the first time that the NSA FISA team has had direct access to the
providers, which has proven to be extremely useful to NSA.

(S) Although the FBI culture is vastly different from NSA's, adapting wasn't difficult. The agents
and engineers at FBI were supportive and welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with NSA on
a variety of different issues. The FISA program is truly a collaborative effort by the FBI, NSA and
CIA. Analysts, engineers, and managers from the three agencies meet monthly to discuss new
opportunities and capabilities. This position offers almost daily contact with NSA CT, and the
opportunity to work closely with CIA's Information Operations Center and the Counterterrorism
Center's Cyber Division.

(S) I am currently in the Resident Signals Engineering Program and will rotate to a new position
in September 2005. SSO recently created a full-time position in the DITU. This position will allow
an engineer or computer scientist to work in a technically challenging environment that offers
the opportunity to have visibility across the Intelligence Community. This tour is considered a

local PCS. The selectee could be eligible for a relocation allowance and a permanent step____

increase. See the following link for more details^

. Interested individuals should contact SSOTechmcalDirector,orme|

for more information about this exciting position.

(U) The FBI Academy facility in Quantico, Virginia

"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet
without the consent of S0121 (DL sid comms)."

DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS
TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL
DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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