In Secret, Court Expands NSA's Surveillance Power

No scrutiny, no accountability


WASHINGTON — In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation's surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court's classified decisions.

The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come, the officials said. …

In one of the court's most important decisions, the judges have expanded the use in terrorism cases of a legal principle known as the "special needs" doctrine and carved out an exception to the Fourth Amendment's requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures, the officials said.

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  1. An intra-government example of regulatory capture?

  2. That’ll never be abused.

  3. Does it matter anymore? The rule of law has been dead for years now; what’s one more nail in the coffin? The constitutional Republic is dead, long live the Imperium, and the rule of Top Men.
    It is just like Rome, the executive does what he wants while paying lip service to the legislative branch, but not feeling bound by the laws that are passed. A citizen trying to assert his rights will be stripped of what little he has left. The military preaches all war, all the time. Acts against the army are punished by execution of entire families (at the funeral of the offender, indiscriminately executing women, children, and old men.) Dissent is met with overwhelming, and brutal, response. All this happens in broad daylight, while the plebs are distracted with bread and circuses (or free phones/healthcare and the Kardashians). All that is missing is boulevards lined with crucified revolutionaries.
    I have resigned myself to the end of our once great Republic of free men, someone convince me I am wrong, please.

    1. I’d disagree with you if I could.

  4. The only good thing about this is that it is a NY Times article, meaning the hardcore Obamophants are starting to realize that this transcends the “liberal/conservative” view of the world.

  5. “In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law…”

    Translation: Unconstitutional court secretly colludes with executive branch in criminal activity.

  6. I made the mistake of scanning the comments at the NYT article, and lo and behold right away:

    “As always, I am saddened by those who use this issue in their case against the current president. The workings of this program, of course, must be examined in the light of day. But this court was not established by Mr. Obama; it came about based on the work of his predecessor ”


    1. And, as is well known, it is illegal for one president to fail to continue whatever his predecessors did.

      1. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

        A big FUCK YOU to JFK. If you see something, say something, is that what you meant? Spy Spy Spy.

        “It ain’t fucking illegal if NIXON/CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA does it”

        Another July 4th FUCK YOU to Bitch Nixon.

    2. “….NOT ESTABLISHED BY Mr. Obama……” yeah, he is an innocent, well-meaning back-stabbing war criminal. Leave him alone.

      The Obama cultists are long departed from the rational, reality-based world.

      God put BOOOSH in the White House, Obomba is the return of Hay-soos himself!

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