Civil Liberties

Is It Hard to Put a Rubber Stamp on an Email?


rubber stamper? I hardly know her!

The court in charge of keeping an eye on the FBI's electronic surveillance requests hasn't been particularly picky lately

The secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved all 1,506 government requests to electronically monitor suspected "agents" of a foreign power or terrorists on US soil last year, according to a Justice Department report released via the Freedom of Information Act….

"The FISC did not deny any applications in whole, or in part," according to the April 19 report to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-NV.)

The 11-member court denied two of 1,329 applications for domestic-intelligence surveillance in 2009. The FBI is the primary agency making those requests.

As the Wired article linked above notes, it may just be that the FBI has gotten very, very good as sussing out what the courts is going to go for. But privacy advocates have picked up the scent of rubber in the air.

For some fun Monday reading, check out all 32 publicly-available FISA court reports. Or take a dip in the Reason archives and enjoy Contributing Editor Julian Sanchez on FISA frenzy.

Via tipster queen Courtney Knapp.