The truth is in the semantics
"Wiretapping" and Politics"
"It all depends on what your definition of "Is" is.
Director Comey testified time and again. "...there was no "Wiretapping."
Rep Nunez HIC told the news, over and over, "...there was no "Wiretapping""
Duh! Does wiretapping mean a technician has to actually splice wires into a communications cable?
If this is the definition it begs the question, not what wiretapping is, but what it isn't."
Look at it this way.... I have a cylindrical shaped device called "Alexa." If I want to convert centimeters to inches I say..."Alexa, how many inches are there in 1000 centimeters?" Alexa answers 392.7 inches. Now hold that thought.
In Surveillance, the object is to define the whereabouts of a Person of Interest (POI). The FBI can surveil someone without a warrant from a FISA court. With this "box" they can also hear conversations between the POI and anybody he/she talks to. Getting a court order is no longer really necessary, however, because everybody is still thinking inside the box the old rules provide some cover. This new technology is outside the box and is not by strict definition "Wiretapping." It is more along the lines of a surveillance enhancement devise. Are you beginning to get a picture of what "Is" is?
For discussion purposes say the CIA, DIA, and FBI all have this "Box." The results of the whereabouts and conversations of POIs go into a central data base somewhere.
Consider the the latest political scandal on President Trump's claim that he was "wiretapped." The story definitely gets more and more interesting as it goes along.
It appears that there is a technology out there that might be termed "Wireless" tapping. Apparently wirelessly tapping doesn't require approval of the FISA court. What I'm saying is there isn't a telephone guy twisting wires to a listening device. This device is something that uses a whole new type of black box. However it works it works and is being used to surveil/moniitor/ listen into the activities of anybody out there.
This is not a brand new technology.... past intelligence chiefs have indirectly made reference to in in comments like.... "If the truth of theses technologies get out the United States will be a less safe place.
If an analyst wants to know, "Where was Joe Blow on 1 July 2016, he/she punches in Joe Blow, SSAN... or says "Nelli-Bell where was JB on 1 July 2016? the information flashes up on a screen.
"Joe Blow was at the following locations, grid, grid, grid and grid. (Exactly like GPS grids on a Google Map) On the date in question the POI met with the following individuals, entity A,B,C.D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,O,P..... It the analyst sees the name of another POI, he/she asks,
"Neli-Bell, play back their conversation." Suppose something about the exchange perks the analyst's interest ...
."Neli-bell, print all after the words.... JB said to entity L." The printer begins to chatter and the analyst has a written records of the conversation.
On the Desk of the Chief of Staff (to the President of the United States) is a communications device linked to the FBI, DIA and CIA, or whoever is the custodian of the central file described above.
Suppose the President of the United States wants to know about the activities of one or more POIs. He asks his Chief,
"What was Joe Blow doing on 1 July 2016?
The Chief inclines his head towards Neli-bell and says,
"What was Joe Blow was up to on 1 July 2016."
An analyst on the other end of the conduit calls up the data and sends it over to the Chief on a secure printer. The Chief hands the print-out to the President who reads it.
"Fancy that," says the President.
Now this is all legal because the information was not obtained by a "Wiretap." As long as the information is used in the interests of the State this is legally and morally correct. The problem comes when it is used for political purposes. Carry this thinking forward.
Say this system has been in place for the past ten years. Say the person who is the custodian of the Ultra-Secret data base thinks this information he is passing is for "Eyes only, President and Chief of Staff." There will be certain protocols in place for example redacting the names of those conversing especially if they are US citizens. However, after a while all this censored stuff starts to grate and the Chief of Staff decides he wants those names "Unredacted," because reading all those censored and marked up e-mails is a pain in the ....."
"Neil-Bell, tell those idiots on the other end, that THE PRESIDENT wants the names shown in the clear." After some hand wringing the watch officer agrees to show the names in the clear.
The next problem the Chief of Staff faces is being able to process all this information he is receiving through the Neli-Bell conduit. So, he has a staffer set up a routing box, so he can farm it out for action to say sixteen (16) trusted minions. "No sense bothering the president with all this information.... only about ten percent is of any real presidential interest.... It will give the President deniability while we go on a fishing expedition. I'll let my staff run the actions and tell them to keep a lid on it... you Know, Top Secret and all that.
Over time the users of this intelligence become desensitized to its importance. What started off as a valuable tool to do the nation's business becomes old hat. Then someone gets the bright idea..."What good is having information of potential political importance when you can't use it for political purposes... One of the more particular devious minions, decides that if it can't be used directly why not leak it to the New York time or Washington Post to thereby discredit our political opponents? Why not start with General Flynn the upcoming National Security Advisor.
Despite what Representative Nunez says he will probably never get to the bottom of all this. Neil-Bell is a double edged sword capable of both serving this nation and abusing the trust and confidence of the people.