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New york times: In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

Unitedwestand13

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oh what a tangled web of secret's our government has woven.

In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come, the officials said.

Last month, a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden, leaked a classified order from the FISA court, which authorized the collection of all phone-tracing data from Verizon business customers. But the court’s still-secret decisions go far beyond any single surveillance order, the officials said.

“We’ve seen a growing body of law from the court,” a former intelligence official said. “What you have is a common law that develops where the court is issuing orders involving particular types of surveillance, particular types of targets.”

In one of the court’s most important decisions, the judges have expanded the use in terrorism cases of a legal principle known as the “special needs” doctrine and carved out an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures, the officials said.

The special needs doctrine was originally established in 1989 by the Supreme Court in a ruling allowing the drug testing of railway workers, finding that a minimal intrusion on privacy was justified by the government’s need to combat an overriding public danger. Applying that concept more broadly, the FISA judges have ruled that the N.S.A.’s collection and examination of Americans’ communications data to track possible terrorists does not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment, the officials said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/us/in-secret-court-vastly-broadens-powers-of-nsa.html

i suggest reading the article.
 

tererun

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oh what a tangled web of secret's our government has woven.



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/us/in-secret-court-vastly-broadens-powers-of-nsa.html


i suggest reading the article.


It is amazing how the supreme court is taken to task for legislating from the bench, but when we have a secret court which is blatently unconstitutional they are allowed to legislate all they want and make every one of us criminals who are under a constant investigation. FISA courts need to go.
 

specklebang

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Once they broke the barrier with that Patriot Act, they got powers to give themselves powers. Talk about bi-partisanship! That was something they all agreed on
The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 is an Act of Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the act is a ten letter bacronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.[1

Exactly ONE Senator voted against it. Maybe some of you hyper-partisans here should think about that next time you want to scream that the other side is the bad guy. 99 black hats. 1 white hat.



oh what a tangled web of secret's our government has woven.



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/us/in-secret-court-vastly-broadens-powers-of-nsa.html

i suggest reading the article.
 
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