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FISA Judges Oppose Intelligence Reform Proposals Aimed At Court

cold fjord (826450) writes | about 3 months ago

2

cold fjord (826450) writes "The LA Times reports, "Judges on the ... surveillance court have strongly rejected any proposed changes to their review process ... In a blunt letter to the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates made it clear that the 11 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are united in opposition to key recommendations by a presidential task force last month ... their skepticism adds to a list of hurdles for those advocating significant reforms following former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's massive disclosures of domestic and foreign surveillance programs. ... Obama and some intelligence officials have publicly signaled support for creating an adversarial legal process in the court ... and aides have suggested the president will create an advocate's position or call for legislation to do so ... But Bates disagreed sharply, arguing that "the participation of an advocate would neither create a truly adversarial process nor constructively assist the courts in assessing the facts, as the advocate would be unable to communicate with the target or conduct an independent investigation." Adding an advocate to "run-of-the-mill FISA matters would substantially hamper the work of the courts without providing any countervailing benefit in terms of privacy protection," he added." — The Hill adds that Bates, "... recommended an advocate chosen by the court, rather than an independent authority, for only a limited number of cases. " — More at Computerworld and NPR."
Link to Original Source

2 comments

misleading headline (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 3 months ago | (#45967553)

The headline would lead one to believe that the FISA judges oppose change to the court process. The meat of the article reveals that no, they just oppose one particularly boneheaded change.

FISA judges want continued zero oversight (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 3 months ago | (#45967755)

"But Bates disagreed sharply, arguing that "the participation of an advocate would neither create a truly adversarial process nor constructively assist the courts in assessing the facts, as the advocate would be unable to communicate with the target or conduct an independent investigation."

The advocate doesn't necessary have to talk to the target to be an effective advocate.
Why would the advocate be unable to conduct an independent investigation?
A court appointed advocate would not be sufficiently independent.

The current way FISA operates is closer to a star chamber. As the law is currently written there is no transparency of warrants or there outcomes and no public scrutiny of the FISA judicial process, which means there can be no informed debate - as such this court has no place in a free society.

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