America's surveillance court rubber-stamped every single surveillance warrant in 2015

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is a secret court that hears warrant requests from America's spy agencies when they want to wiretap people in the USA.

The court — which is non-adversarial, hearing only from the spies, and not from anyone representing those they wish to spy upon — is supposed to serve as a check upon uncontrolled secret powers.

A document released by the DoJ this week shows that the FBI and NSA made 1,457 warrant requests to the court.

Coincidentally, the court approved 1,457 warrant requests in 2015.

Civil liberties advocates have long derided the court for acting as a "rubber stamp" for government surveillance operations. Government officials have said the Justice Department is careful about its applications and that sometimes orders are modified substantially by the court.

The court modified 80 applications in 2015, a more than fourfold increase from the 19 modifications made in 2014.

U.S. spy court rejected zero surveillance orders in 2015: memo
[Dustin Volz/Reuters]

(via Ars Technica)

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