FISA Court’s rubber stamp of approval for government spying requests

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established in 1978 to provide a measure of oversight and due process for secret law enforcement agency requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies and other suspects in the U.S. But information on the requests contained in a recent Justice Department memo suggests that the court is serving as little more than a rubber stamp for federal agencies. Of the nearly 3,000 requests made by the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to intercept communications, such as emails and phone calls, over the past two years — 1,379 in 2014 and 1,457 in 2015 — not a single one has been rejected by the FISA court.


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