June 17, 2013

Why the FISA Court is a scam

Tech Dirt - The law was written such that the FISA court is only supposed to allow for the collection of "tangible" things (including records) if it can be shown to the court that the specific thing being collected is relevant to an investigation. The FISA Court apparently believes that means anything -- and that's the crux of the secret interpretation from the FISA Court which it and the DOJ have been refusing to reveal.

...Basically, when data collection runs up against the limits of the law, the FISA court steps in with a secret reinterpretation of the law to let intelligence officials do what they want. There are no adversarial hearings with anyone arguing the other side, and since the rulings are secret, the judges never even have to be worried about criticism.

Daily Caller -  Ex NSAer William Binney: In the last year, how many requests for a warrant has the FISA court rejected? Zero. It’s just a rubber stamp. In 2002 the FISA courts found out that the FBI lied on 75 affidavits for a warrant. And they didn’t do anything as a result of that. How good of an oversight is that? It’s nothing, it’s a joke.

1 comment:

BARBBF said...

- The Daily Caller - http://dailycaller.com -

Citing data compiled by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the report cast the FISA court as little more than a rubber stamp for NSA and FBI attempts to eavesdrop on the cyber-activity of millions of users of Internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo.

The data itself is stunning. Of the more than 20,000 FISA applications presented to the court by the government since 2001 — when the Patriot Act greatly reduced the threshold at which the applications could be made — only 11 were rejected. Similarly, the court allowed the FBI to issue more than 140,000 National Security Letters since 2004.

The report containing the data defines National Security Letters as “extraordinary search procedures giving the FBI the power to compel the disclosure of customer records held by banks, telephone companies, Internet Service Providers, and others.” Many technology companies have attempted to fight these orders in court, often with little success.