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Published On: Tue, Jun 25th, 2013

NSA surveillance, FISA court making judgments in underground hearings

Senate Intelligence Committee, FISA courts and NSA surveillance decisions appear to be made deep below the Capitol Visitors Center says a Washington Post article.

Detailing the hearings by U.S. District Court Judge John Bates, who appeared before dozens of senators earlier this month, the Post details the “inner workings of the United States’ clandestine terrorism surveillance tribunal, which Bates oversaw from 2006 until earlier this year.”

Some of the documents (See below) can give you a peek into the subculture of spying in this area, built during the Bush administration for $750 million (i.e. the new Capitol Visitors Center)

“The government can get virtually anything,” said Sen. Ron Wyden(D-Oregon), who as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is allowed to read many of the court’s classified rulings. “Health, guns, credit cards — my reading is not what has been done, it’s what can be done.”

The article discusses how members of Congress from both parties are pursuing legislation to force the court’s orders into the open and have stepped up demands that the Obama administration release at least summaries of the court’s opinions.

All 11 of the current members were tapped by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Ten were originally appointed to the federal bench by Republican presidents. Six are former prosecutors.

“The judges that are assigned to this court are judges that are not likely to rock the boat,” said Nancy Gertner, a former federal judge from Massachusetts who teaches at Harvard Law School. Gertner, a former defense and civil rights lawyer named to the bench by Democrat Bill Clinton, added: “All of the structural pressures that keep a judge independent are missing there. It’s ­one-sided, secret, and the judges are chosen in a selection process by one man.”

Steven Aftergood, director of the government secrecy program at the Federation of American Scientists, called the court “an astonishing departure from what we thought we knew about the judiciary.”

Check out the amazing four page article here

FISA request graphic

 Classified documents show rules for NSA surveillance without a warrant

 

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Edward Snowden News | Senate Bill Seeks Greater NSA Surveillance Oversight - InformationWeek SMB (blog) - Edward Snowden says:

    […] Act (FISA) by the National Security Agency (NSA). The proposed FISA Accountability and …NSA surveillance, FISA court making judgments in underground hearingsThe Global DispatchPrivacy groups skeptical of plan to limit NSA’s data accessThe Hill […]

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