Re: Mr Ned Re: MrNed Let me get this straight
".....So no, of course they're not going to let you know if you're the subject of an ongoing investigation....." You are missing the obvious implication - all the "hate The man" posters here squealing about "privacy intrusion" will put in requests in the hope of launching privacy invasion cases, but will probably get back a "nothing found" answer for one of two reasons. Now please try and concentrate on reading the next bits before succumbing to your reflexive rant and downvote habit.
Firstly, because they are of no interest anyway, so any metadata that was collected in the NSA databases will not have been processed to the point where an individual's identity will have been noted (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/interactive/2013/jun/12/what-is-metadata-nsa-surveillance#meta=0000000). Remember, this is raw data in the US databases - if you were already of interest to the Yanks it would have been processed and identified and be classed as part of an investigation (see point two for why that means the response is "nothing found"). Which means when Joe Wannabe goes and asks for all the data transferred which refers to Joe Wannabe there is no data returned by the search, even if there is actually metadata or (even intercepts) from Joe Wannabe in the database, as none of it has been tagged "Joe Wannabe" as it is actually tagged by something else such as your router's MAC address or your mobile number. So your request on all the info on Joe Wannabe will result in a blank. Unless you are already being or have been investigated, which takes us to the second option.
Secondly, if Joe Wannabe has potentially done a naughty and is of interest, and his data has been processed and identified either already by the NSA or in the UK by the GCHQ, then the look at Joe Wannabe, whether it is still ongoing or suspended, will be classed as an investigation and the resulting evidence redacted, meaning the search answer still comes back "nothing found".
It is only in the rare cases that metadata or intercepts have triggered a second pass of analysis (for example, you visited the "wrong" chatroom on 4chan when someone of actual interest was also logged in there) that the metadata will have been processed to the point where the user will have been identified as Joe Wannabe, and then found to be unvalued data, that the identification of the data and it's lack of value will mean it will be returned in any search. Big whoop! Your bragging rights extend only to the fact the NSA and GCHQ found you of no interest despite the poor company you kept. That's if they kept the data after the decision that you were of no interest - see below.
"....the spy agencies have been found to have acted outside of the law...." The transfer of data before that date was considered "illegal". Do try and bear in mind what happens to aged data - it gets flushed if it is not of value. Do also bear in mind that the Spooks have had plenty of time whilst this meandered through the courts to clean shop. Now, if Mr Spook looked at Joe Wannabe and decided he was just an oik as opposed as a threat to law and order, do you think the details of the check were recorded and all the data was retained or do you think they recorded the fact he was of no interest and the unvalued data flushed (remember, it's still in the NSA database, so why keep a copy of unvalued data in the UK, they can always go get it again from the Yanks if required)? The access was probably logged by the NSA, but that log is not available under an UK FoIR. A local log may have recorded the access from the GCHQ end, but all that will say is "search of Joe Wannabe done by Analyst <REDACTED>, subject of no interest, no data retained". Big whoop again!
Summarising - if your data were just a raw metadata search then you won't find it in any FoIR search (that's if the Spooks haven't already deleted all record of it to cover their tracks). Similarly, if you were of interest they won't tell you as you're part of an investigation. Your only reply other than "nothing found" will be "found but not of interest, no data retained" - good luck on building a case for privacy invasion on that! Oh, and what searches they do since December 2014 are all legal and will not be subject to a FoIR. Enjoy!