NSA reveals that it illegally gathered thousands of phone records, to the appalled astonishment of FISA court judge

As the Snowden leaks about NSA surveillance continue to trickle out, it's easy to miss the fact that the NSA is now releasing hundreds of pages of damning documents about its activities. They're not doing it voluntarily: the Snowden leaks allowed the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU to wave away a decade's worth of administrative stalling and secure a major court victory that triggered the releases. — Read the rest

EFF wins big: secret FISA court opinion will be released

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has won a huge victory in its ongoing battle to turn over the rock of secret surveillance in the USA. A federal court has ordered the government to publish a 2011 opinion from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in which the court held that the NSA's surveillance was unconstitutional and not in "the spirit of" federal law. — Read the rest

Guide to FISA


Brett Dobbs says: "I found this the most useful guide to explain what has gone on with FISA. With flowcharts!"

1. It Eliminates the requirement that there be probable cause that a foreign target is a suspect of any kind – terrorist, criminal, ore "foreign agent."

Read the rest

Obama's support for the FISA "compromise"

If anyone expects President Obama to roll back Bush's illegally-gained dictator powers, they are smoking rope. From Salon's Glenn Greenwald.

It is absolutely false that the only unconstitutional and destructive provision of this "compromise" bill is the telecom amnesty part. It's true that most people working to defeat the Cheney/Rockefeller bill viewed opposition to telecom amnesty as the most politically potent way to defeat the bill, but the bill's expansion of warrantless eavesdropping powers vested in the President, and its evisceration of safeguards against abuses of those powers, is at least as long-lasting and destructive as the telecom amnesty provisions.

Read the rest

Report: FISA court judge resigns over NSA domestic spying

Snip from Washington Post story:

A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John G.

Read the rest

7 years later, US court of appeals rules that NSA program leaked by Snowden was illegal after all

From The Guardian, where the Snowden revelations were originally published in 2013:

Seven years after the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of Americans' telephone records, an appeals court has found the program was unlawful – and that the US intelligence leaders who publicly defended it were not telling the truth.

Read the rest

Newly released documents show that the FBI used standard FBI tactics on Michael Flynn

MAGA world is very up-in-arms about some newly unsealed court documents involving the case of Michael Flynn, the US Army Lieutenant General and former Trump national security advisor who pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the Russian government and also worked as a secret lobbyist for the Turkish government while he was in the White House. — Read the rest