Saturday, June 29, 2013

The complicit FISA court

The New York Times' Bits blog posted a short entry last night, "Secret Court Declassifies Yahoo's Role in Disclosure Fight".
Yahoo fought a part of FISA known as the Protect America Act, elements of which were folded into a 2008 amendment to FISA. Yahoo argued, unsuccessfully, that broad, warrantless Internet surveillance violated the Constitution. Yahoo appealed at the secret court of review, and that court also ruled against Yahoo, writing in its decision that “efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts.”
[emphasis added]

I'd love to see the original decision by the court of review. Was there any effort to qualify "efforts"? Must they, for instance, be "reasonable efforts"? Or might the previous word have been "any"?

As things stand, the reasonable conclusion is that any effort to protect national security will "not be frustrated by the courts". The logical followup question is, "Then why bother with the courts at all?"

The answer obviously is, "Because the courts provide political cover."

The FISA court is complicit with the executive branch and the intelligence community.

The FISA court system is designed to thwart anyone interested in genuine, thoughtful and critical oversight of the intelligence community's surveillance activities. I defy any member of Congress, or any of the FISA court's judges, to prove me wrong.

The game's rigged, kids.

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