Is FISA Out of Line?
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  • Jim__L

    Didn’t the Patriot Act roll back a lot of FISA’s oversight already? I guess that was more than a decade ago now, and things could have changed in the meantime.

  • Andrew Allison

    The FISC has jurisdiction to “hear applications for and grant orders approving electronic surveillance” and “physical search[es]” for the “purpose of obtaining foreign intelligence information” on foreign nationals within the United States (

    The court is rubber-stamping requests by intelligence agencies to conduct indiscriminate surveillance. Furthermore, evidence has now emerged that such surveillance has been conducted without a warrant. This is clearly beyond the remit of both the court and the agencies, extra-legal and, IMO, unconstitutional.

  • wigwag

    As the July 4th holiday comes to a close, it pays to reflect on the similarities between the FISA Court and the Star Chamber. Are they the same; of course not. Do they share some similar features that should make us very cautious?


    • Andrew Allison

      How are the different? Court sessions were/are held in secret, with no indictments, and no witnesses. An even better analogy might be the infamous General Warrant, which was one of the factors leading to the revolution. “Writs of assistance” are exactly what the FISC is issuing.

  • Sophie13

    In 33 years, the kangaroo court with a rubber stamp a/k/a the FISC has only refused the government 11 times.

    33,949 applications for warrants have been presented to the FISC since 1979.

    33,938 warrant applications have been approved by the FISC since 1979.

    IOW, the FISC has approved warrant applications 99.97% of the time since 1979.

    You have to travel to banana republics or totalitarian states to find an approval rate like that.

  • dogwonder

    If the NSA can’t operate their secret court hearings out in the open they have no business operating atall. Under Obama America has been attacked five times so please spare me the drivel that this program is protecting Americans. I’d rather die via a suicide bomber than be smothered to death by demorats sitting on my liberties sniveling “Nanny knows best”. Russia has a name for the organization and courts Obama set up, it’s called the Star Chamber run by the KGB.

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