posted on Aug, 1 2013 @ 02:47 AM
Originally posted by Phage
It's a complex issue. The security value in this type of surveillance is obvious but the "gill net" aspect is appalling.
It's bad enough that there was a "special" court to permit the NSA to do this
The court does not exist to permit the NSA to do this. It exists to restrict what the NSA does and to enforce FISA. Before Congress enacted FISA, the
NSA carried out surveillance programs without judicial oversight (e.g. Shamrock). It also acted without Court review early in the GWOT, under the
Executive Branch's broad interpretation of the AUMF.
but the revelation that they went beyond even what that body authorized...
is to be expected when a new program, based on a newly enacted statute and evolving case law, and utilizing newly developed technology, is
established. The violations were not "intentional or bad-faith." (Many of them seem to have been due to automated tools behaving in an unexpected
manner, not human error or malfeasance.) They were reported to the Court and to Congress. The intelligence and judiciary committees got all the
details, while everyone else was provided a summary and access to briefers. Limitations were imposed while safeguards were put in place to prevent
similar violations in the future.
Given the rather remarkable level of oversight here--most intelligence activities have no judicial review, and NSA isn't required to talk to anyone
outside the committees but it does so anyway--I'm not worried about compliance. One can argue for or against the wisdom of FISA, but in this case I
am convinced NSA is following the law.