FISA Court

15 Stories

9 in 10 Messages NSA Spies On Not From Targets

Agency is casting much wider net, Snowden messages show

(Newser) - Still living in the dream world where the NSA only monitors foreign nationals located outside our borders? The Washington Post , armed with a four-month investigation and a vast trove of 160,000 intercepted messages courtesy of Edward Snowden, reveals that the spy agency in fact casts a much wider net.... More »

Surveillance Court Digs in Over Planned NSA Reform

Obama's plan due Friday

(Newser) - President Obama is preparing to announce plans to rein in NSA intelligence-gathering on Friday, the New York Times reports. As expected , he'll tighten rules on telephone data collection, extend privacy protections to non-citizens, and urge the creation of an independent privacy advocate for the government's secret surveillance court.... More »

NSA Has Hacked Google, Yahoo: Report

Snowden scoop: 'MUSCULAR' program allows access of all data, without court order

(Newser) - If you thought PRISM was bad, wait until you get a load of MUSCULAR. Documents from Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA has hacked the cables Google and Yahoo use to shuttle information between their massive cloud databases, giving them unfettered access to data from hundreds of millions of users,... More »

Court: We Don't Rubber Stamp All NSA Requests ...

... Just 75.6% of them, top judge testifies

(Newser) - The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court doesn't just rubber stamp every request government spies send it, its top judge protests in a letter sent to Congress—just 75.6% of them. The Justice Department has previously revealed that the court approves 99% of NSA requests. But that number is misleading,... More »

NSA Got Too Big to Understand: Report

New docs say NSA 'frequently and systematically' abused system

(Newser) - As Edward Snowden's trove began to leak, President Obama was quick to reassure Americans that Congress and the courts kept the NSA's powers and activities in check. But newly declassified documents from the 2009 probe into the agency's wiretapping show that—in 2009, at least—the NSA'... More »

Roberts Adds Rare Democrat to Secret Court

But José Cabranes is so conservative Bush almost appointed him

(Newser) - John Roberts has finally appointed another Democrat to the secretive FISA court that watches over the NSA's controversial surveillance programs—but it's security hawks, not civil libertarians, who should be celebrating. Though he was originally appointed by Bill Clinton in 2000, Judge José A. Cabranes leans conservative ideologically,... More »

Ex-Judge on FISA Court Points Out Flaw in System

James Robertson says FISA judges need to hear both sides on surveillance issues

(Newser) - The NSA gets legal permission for its broad surveillance programs from the secret court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. And for the first time, one of the judges that sat on the court is coming forward to criticize the FISA process, reports the Guardian . Retired federal judge... More »

NSA Spying Came About Thanks to One Word

America's 'secret supreme court' changed what 'relevant' means

(Newser) - The controversial spying programs that Edward Snowden has revealed can trace their existence to the FISA court's redefinition of one word: "relevant." The Patriot Act allows the FBI to demand records as long as they are believed to be "relevant to an authorized investigation." But... More »

More Revelations: Feds Collected Bulk Email Data

Another 'Guardian' story hits, reveals more metadata collection

(Newser) - The revelations about the NSA's surveillance operations just keep coming. The Guardian has yet another piece revealing that the government spent a decade collecting bulk email data, in much the same way it collected bulk cellphone data . As with the cellphone data, the government collected metadata, meaning information on... More »

NSA Gets to Decide Who's Foreign

New documents reveal rules on surveillance targets

(Newser) - For weeks, President Obama and other senior officials have touted the special FISA court as a safeguard on NSA surveillance. Well, the Guardian and Washington Post have obtained top-secret documents submitted to and approved by that court that outline the rules and limits placed on the program. How reassuring they... More »

Google Fighting Gag Order on Surveillance Data

Company wants secret FISA court to let it disclose more details

(Newser) - Google is going to court to try to bring more transparency to the government's surveillance program—and maybe to beef up its public image on privacy along the way. The company will file a petition with the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court demanding that it be allowed to provide... More »

On NSA Spying, Yahoo Fought Law (Law Won)

Secret court bid to reject spying on foreign clients failed in 2008

(Newser) - When the government came to Yahoo with a request that Yahoo help it spy on foreign users without a warrant, the company refused and sent its top lawyers to argue the case in a secret court proceeding, sources tell the New York Times . Its argument: users' Fourth Amendment rights would... More »

8 Senators: Blow the Doors Open on FISA Court

Bipartisan group wants FISA rulings declassified

(Newser) - Here's one way to cut down on leaks about spy agencies' use of the super-secret FISA court—make the rulings public. Eight senators from both parties backed a bill today that would bring far more transparency to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, reports Roll Call . They want key rulings... More »

Democrats Withdraw Spy Bill

Delay vote that would give phone companies immunity in spy scandal

(Newser) - Legislation that would have granted retroactive immunity for phone companies that cooperated in the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program was abruptly withdrawn by Senate majority leader Harry Reid late yesterday. The legislation, favored by the White House, had deeply divided Democrats. Reid said the Senate would deal with the... More »

Bush Signs Law Expanding Wiretap Powers

Legalizes tapping calls and emails in and out of US without warrant

(Newser) - President Bush signed into law yesterday measures significantly expanding the government's authority to eavesdrop on millions of phone calls and e-mails going in and out of the US without warrants. The law, passed by Congress after bruising battles, effectively legalizes secret surveillance being conducted by a controversial National Security Agency... More »

15 Stories