The Telecommunications Law Resource Center is the most comprehensive reference and news platform for communications law, covering broadcasting, cable, broadband, telephony and wireless;...
Sept. 24 --Congress should look at overhauling the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) as part of efforts to rein in controversial National Security Agency programs that have prompted a major privacy debate in recent months, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Sept. 24.
In a speech delivered at the Georgetown University Law Center, Leahy expressed concerns about the court's proceedings and called for consideration of structural changes.
FISC judges are now “rendering very complex constitutional decisions about massive surveillance programs that have major implications for Americans' privacy,” Leahy said. “They're conducting oversight of highly technical programs. And they're doing this all in secret, and the court doesn't have the advantage of there being an adversarial process.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a Judiciary Committee member, has introduced a bill to overhaul FISC proceedings. Similar legislation has been proposed in the House by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
The FISC, which was established under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), issues orders compelling U.S. businesses to cooperate with government spying initiatives, using a legal process that is largely closed to the public.
The court has received increased attention in the wake of exposure of controversial NSA surveillance programs in June through press reports. One program involves the bulk collection of U.S. phone customer records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Another initiative, known as PRISM, concerns the monitoring of Internet communications under Section 702 of FISA, a provision that was added in 2008.
The Judiciary Committee is in the midst of a review of the programs. A classified briefing for committee members has been scheduled for Sept. 25 and an open hearing has been planned for the week of Sept. 30, Leahy said.
In a related development, Leahy and other members of panel urged the intelligence community's inspector general Sept. 23 to conduct a full review of the government's use and implementation of Section 215 and Section 702 over the last three years.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alexei Alexis in Washington at aalexis @bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)