[2015] stephanie vaughan: FISA Courts

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by Launica200
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[2015] stephanie vaughan: FISA Courts

FISA Courts


What it does?

Violation of Civil Liberties

Legal Controversies

The USA Patriot Act amended the FISA and expanded the authority of federal officials to gather information on foreign intelligence within the U.S. It also allowed for the sharing of intelligence inforamtion among federal agencies involved in intelligence and counterterrorism activities. FISA was designed to control foreign agents involved in espionage within the U.S. It also protects U.S. citizens from governmental abuses to their right to privacy.

FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Survelliance Act of 1978. This act oversaw requests for survelliace warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. FISA was passed by Congress as a result of domestic spying by federal law enforcement officials during the Vietnam era.

FISA was created in 1978, long before the use of most technology, we use on a daily basis. The United States has had a dramatic shift in technology, so laws have changed the role of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court since its creation; from reviewing government applications to collect communications in specific cases, to issuing blanket approvals of sweeping data collection programs affecting millions of Americans. These fundamental changes not only erode Americans’ civil liberties, but likely violate Article III of the U.S. Constitution and it also fails to satisfy standards, set forth in the Fourth Amendment, which protect against warrantless searches and seizures.

Legal controversies arose when it was discovered the NSA was monitoring international telephone calls as well as e-mail messages of people in the U.S. without warrents in an effort to track down those associated with Al Qaeda. The FISA court hears requests for warrents to allow government surveillance to occur secretly and none of the court rulings are made public. Many opponents of FISA believe it circumvents the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


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