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View Diary: Breaking: Chief Justice John Roberts, Not the Obama admin is the Power Over NSA Surveillance (562 comments)

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  •  Interesting article this morning: (15+ / 0-)

    Reforming the FISA Court:

    The article documents how the appeals court that oversees FISC ruled that NSA can gather cellphone and email metadata without a court order.

    The lede: “A federal intelligence court, in a rare public opinion, is expected to issue a major ruling validating the power of the president and Congress to wiretap international phone calls and intercept e-mail messages without a court order, even when Americans’ private communications may be involved.”

    The ruling will be released by FISC on Thursday. That is, Thursday January 8, 2009.

    The article was originally published on January 5, more than four-and-a-half years ago. (It’s worth noting that in April, 2009 the Obama Justice Department pulled back the reins on NSA overreach and enacted new privacy safeguards, according to the Wall Street Journal. Another fact lost down the memory hole.)

    •  Good info found at that link, thanks! (6+ / 0-)

      Note that the last paragraph above should be part of the block quote too, it's from the article... from which I followed the link to the original article from 2009; it's archived but this is the posted summary:

      WASHINGTON -- A National Security Agency eavesdropping program exceeded legal limits intended to safeguard privacy, and officials have taken steps to bring the intercepts program into compliance, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

      The department, in a statement, said problems with the NSA program were uncovered as the Justice Department and National Security Agency were conducting routine oversight of intelligence activities to ensure compliance with laws and court orders.

      Attorney General Eric Holder has sought court approval to renew the NSA program after instituting new safeguards.

      The House intelligence committee was informed of the compliance issues and is conducting an inquiry, a House congressional official said.


      But the other really interesting thing in the linked article is this part, which totally undermines the premise of this diary (if I understand what the diarist is trying to say):

      Sadly, the 2008 FISA Amendments Act did nothing to fix the way the court operates or how its judges are appointed.

      The latter is arguably at the top of the list of reforms. The 1978 FISA law, signed by Jimmy Carter, names the chief justice of the Supreme Court as the sole authority privileged with the task of appointing judges to the court. Again, the role of the chief justice is not new news, neither are the names of the judges he appoints, but it’s easily the source of why the court is so ridiculously partisan.

      So I did learn something new, even though this is more "not breaking" news here, but it is new info to me - it turns out this system for appointing the FISA judges was signed into law under Jimmy Carter!

      So it seems this process was not designed by republicans, for republicans after all. In fact it has been a bipartisan project since the beginning, and congress has been abdicating its oversight powers and responsibilities to both the executive branch and the chief justice on this matter for decades. Good to know, although I find myself rather not surprised for some reason.

    •  1/8/09.... Hmmmmmmm (5+ / 0-)

      That comes before 1/20/ 09, right?

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:05:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If the Obama DOJ enacted new safeguards (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      saxoman1, Brian B

      Then why did Eric Holder sign and submit two 9-page exhibits in July of 2009 related to collection and minimization that were pulled from the NSA CSSM dated 01/08/2007?

      That date is prior to both the Protect America Act and the FISA Amendment Acts.

      Shouldn't those exhibits have been from a later date that showed new safeguards?

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