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Tue Jul 2, 2013, 02:51 PM

There is absolutely no such thing as a secret body of law in a democracy.

Where the people rule (that's what democracy means), the people make and know the laws.

Let that sink in.

There is absolutely no such thing as a secret body of law in a democracy.

See this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023142617

54 replies, 6221 views

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Reply There is absolutely no such thing as a secret body of law in a democracy. (Original post)
FiveGoodMen Jul 2013 OP
dtom67 Jul 2013 #1
hobbit709 Jul 2013 #2
PoliticAverse Jul 2013 #3
think Jul 2013 #4
NightWatcher Jul 2013 #5
FiveGoodMen Jul 2013 #7
NightWatcher Jul 2013 #11
FiveGoodMen Jul 2013 #13
NightWatcher Jul 2013 #14
FiveGoodMen Jul 2013 #17
NightWatcher Jul 2013 #19
FiveGoodMen Jul 2013 #20
nashville_brook Jul 2013 #41
nineteen50 Jul 2013 #24
Festivito Jul 2013 #23
Posteritatis Jul 2013 #39
bemildred Jul 2013 #6
rhett o rick Jul 2013 #8
FiveGoodMen Jul 2013 #9
jberryhill Jul 2013 #12
Maedhros Jul 2013 #33
Skidmore Jul 2013 #15
rhett o rick Jul 2013 #16
Skidmore Jul 2013 #18
JDPriestly Jul 2013 #30
rhett o rick Jul 2013 #34
JDPriestly Jul 2013 #42
rhett o rick Jul 2013 #43
JDPriestly Jul 2013 #44
rhett o rick Jul 2013 #47
JDPriestly Jul 2013 #48
nineteen50 Jul 2013 #25
jberryhill Jul 2013 #10
tridim Jul 2013 #21
usGovOwesUs3Trillion Jul 2013 #26
JDPriestly Jul 2013 #49
markpkessinger Jul 2013 #37
WillyT Jul 2013 #22
Tierra_y_Libertad Jul 2013 #27
JDPriestly Jul 2013 #28
limpyhobbler Jul 2013 #29
Pholus Jul 2013 #31
NoMoreWarNow Jul 2013 #32
JDPriestly Jul 2013 #50
warrprayer Jul 2013 #35
Yo_Mama Jul 2013 #36
nashville_brook Jul 2013 #38
woo me with science Jul 2013 #40
sabrina 1 Jul 2013 #45
Demo_Chris Jul 2013 #46
markiv Jul 2013 #51
markiv Jul 2013 #52
ProSense Jul 2013 #53
Bake Jul 2013 #54

Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 02:55 PM

1. of course,

But what about in a Polyarchy ?

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 02:56 PM

2. First you have to have a democracy.

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:01 PM

4. I got to read that later. TY /nt

 

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:04 PM

5. What about in a Representative Republic?

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:06 PM

7. Are secret laws representative?

(Are you really engaging in this conversation or just disrupting?)

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:14 PM

11. We elect representatives, couldn't they keep secrets from us?

File them under: For Our Own Good?

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:15 PM

13. Are you serious?

Can you not see where this leads?

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:19 PM

14. Of course I can.

But there are also secret meetings involving intelligence where only a few representatives are allowed in.

Some secrets are necessary, unfortunate for transparency, but necessary none the less.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #14)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:20 PM

17. Secrets and secret LAWS are two different things.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #17)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:26 PM

19. If they apply to the citizenry, it'd be nice to know what they are

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #19)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:26 PM

20. "it'd be nice to know what they are"

And therein lies the problem.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #19)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 06:50 PM

41. admission that secret laws are incompatible with democracy.

is this a good sign or a bad sign?

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 04:48 PM

24. Yes

it leads to corporate personhood. Which leads to.......

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 04:45 PM

23. Not if it is secret from our representative. eom

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 06:48 PM

39. Ooh! Pedantic hairsplitting! That's always a useful contribution! (nt)

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:05 PM

6. "It is one of the genuine marks of servitude to have the law either concealed or precarious."

-- Sir Edward Coke

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:09 PM

8. But a Democracy can authorize a secret body of law. nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:12 PM

9. You mean a democracy can voluntarily choose to become something else?

Once laws are made in secret, there is no way the people are being represented.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:15 PM

12. Senate and House oversight committees


What "laws" are being made in secret?

People can certainly elect representatives who are given access to sensitive information. That information doesn't constitute "laws", and there is nothing undemocratic about people electing senators to have access to more detailed information about sources and methods than is generally made public.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 05:28 PM

33. Citizens targeted by these secret laws

 

have been denied recourse through the courts, because the courts say that since the laws are secret, the citizen cannot prove they are targeted.

That's not healthy in any kind of government - representative, democratic, or otherwise.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:19 PM

15. So somebody just decided to make up some laws in secret? Who granted them the authority?

Who gave them governing authority? From which statute was this authority derived?

Now go back to Congress and demand repeal of the Patriot Act and the FISA provision. Congress needs to act.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:19 PM

16. A democracy can authorize an agency to operate in secrecy. We do it all the time.

 

The agencies can create secret policies and procedures which arent laws. I dont think the definition of law would include that which is made in secret. What makes it a law over just a secret policy.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:24 PM

18. That's not what is implied in the OP.

The issue, as far as I'm concerned, begins and end with the Patriot Act and FISA provisions, which much be either repealed or revised by Congress or ruled unconstitutional by the SCOTUS and then repealed or revised by the Congress. Standing in one place and screaming doesn't get much done. Oh, but then Senator Leahy is trying to do something but that doesn't count unless the right people on DU point that out.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 05:04 PM

30. What agency can do that?

Most of the agencies outside the intelligence agencies are required to go through a process in establishing policies and regulations.

Most of them even have administrative judges that hear cases.

Any agency that makes secret regulations or decisions should be stopped.

Our military makes certain decisions that are correctly labeled "secret," but, for example this commission that is setting up this new treasonous trade deal should be ended. Needs to be decommissioned.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #30)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 06:31 PM

34. Dont get me wrong. I am not advocating for secrecy, nor am I agreeing that

 

we live in a democracy. What I mean is that even in a democracy there can be, if the people approve, agencies like the FBI and CIA that have some operations that are secret. This country is a great example. It appears that our spy agencies are engaged in activities that involve a lot of secrecy. While the liberals among us may object, millions of the apathetic dont care, probably all Republicans welcome it, and even some of our "so-called" Democratic brothers and sisters would just as soon put the horses back and close the barn door. It appears to me that a good share, maybe a majority of Americans are ok with the secrecy of the NSA, FBI, etc.

People have to want democracy to keep it.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #34)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 11:50 PM

42. The rules that the FBI is supposed to follow are not that secret.

They are bound by law to follow certain rules. The details of their cases and their day-to-day work is confidential.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #42)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 12:37 AM

43. The key to what you said is that they are "supposed to follow". I think we are learning that these

 

organizations may not be following those rules.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #43)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 02:16 AM

44. I just can't argue with you there.

I just hope that our whole constitutional system is not breaking down. It really scares me some times.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #44)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 09:55 AM

47. IMO we have a Constitutional Crisis. Laws are on the books today that IMHO clearly

 

violate the Constitution. But they are legitimate laws until the SCOTUS says otherwise. But unless the laws get challenged we cant get them reversed. And if we did get them challenged this SCOTUS probably wouldnt reverse them anywayz. Congress could change the laws, the President could veto extensions, but they arent.

The bottom line is that we have a government that IMHO has embraced violating the Constitution in the area of the 4th Amendment, with the Congress, the President and the SCOTUS all agreeing that it's ok. No checks and balances here.

The founders intended that we have a "constitutional controlled, democratic republic." Currently we have a "oligarchical driven republic."

We are still allowed to vote, but as we have seen, the elections are easily manipulated. And our choices will be dictated by the wealth of the oligarchs. Those living in denial will fool themselves by insisting that we have two choices. Yes, worse and worser.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #47)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 12:30 PM

48. Yes.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 04:52 PM

25. Yes

Just like the Senators that swear to up hold the Constitution can give the authority to wage war to the Executive Branch and the court upholds that terrorist act.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:13 PM

10. And there isn't one


People go on a rip about whether an official received an opinion of counsel in relation to a contemplated action or policy, and seem to believe that it was the opinion of counsel which "made it legal".

That's just not the way things work.

Now, whether that opinion of counsel is ultimately correct, incorrect, inept, or whatever, is pretty much irrelevant, since it isn't an "opinion of counsel" which determines whether the proposed action is, or is not, illegal. The law determines that, independent of whatever legal advice the official may have obtained beforehand.

The emphasis put on "so and so received a secret memo from his lawyer" is just so much theatrics.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 03:37 PM

21. The accusation in your link has NOT been proven yet.

The 26 senators even say, "they believe the government may be misinterpreting existing legislation".

You might want to be a little more careful with your worst-case extrapolations, unless you want to get bitten in the ass again.

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Response to tridim (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 04:54 PM

26. wrong: did you even read the letter? the word 'misinterpreting' isn't even in there.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/28/senators-letter-james-clapper

They are showing the exact same concern many Americans, DUers, and others around the world are to the massive, suspicionless spying going on.

Let me be clear, there is no DOUBT about the wrong-doing revealed by these recent revelations, and many want it stopped.

Read the source...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/28/senators-letter-james-clapper

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Response to usGovOwesUs3Trillion (Reply #26)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 12:34 PM

49. Right. There is no doubt at all, and the fearfully defiant international reaction

proves that it is morally wrong. That is why it is constitutionally and politically and ultimately legally wrong. This kind of surveillance, this collecting of metadata demeans those whose data is collected to the position of robot slaves. Ultimately, finally, that is what it does.

And compound these collections of metadata with fingerprints building up to MRI records in the hospital, and you have an oligarchy served by robot slaves who can never escape their DNA records.

I know this sounds like science fiction, but aren't these programs inspired by science fiction in the first place?

That's my guess.

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Response to tridim (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 06:46 PM

37. When I look at the list of Senators who signed it . . .

. . it is not as if they are a bunch of backbenchers, lightweights or people with a reputation of fabricating things out of whole cloth. I'm inclined to take their concerns very, very seriously. Again, the signers:

Ron Wyden (D-Or), Mark Udall (D-Co), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), Mark Kirk (R-Il), Dick Durbin (D-Il), Tom Udall (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jon Tester (D-Mt), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dean Heller (R- Nev),Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), Patty Murray (D-Wash), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chris Coons (D-Del), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), Max Baucus (D-Mont), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 04:44 PM

22. K & R !!!

 


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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 04:56 PM

27. Secret laws, secret courts, secret spying, secret wars = Government of the people?

 

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 04:59 PM

28. K&R.

And there is one law that applies to all. No exemptions for banks and Wall Street.

So is America a democracy?

You decide.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 05:01 PM

29. I little concerned about people who don't grasp this concept. nt

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 05:08 PM

31. It has to be secret for at least one practical reason...

Justifying "collection" as legal as long as it is unexamined without a warrant is an interpretation NOT restricted to matters of national security by its nature. You've just destroyed the 4th amendment. Why can't a cop simply place cameras on someone's house recording 24 hours a day. At some point in the future, you manage a warrant and then it's all fair game as long as you didn't actually look at the tapes, right?

For a top secret national security program you might decide that the opinion is good enough for you, in the same way that as long as your folks don't find out it's okay to steal from their liquor cabinet. It's a feel good fig leaf and insurance card.

It would never actually fly in the courts nor in the court of public opinion.

THAT is why it is a secret.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #31)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 05:12 PM

32. and this is exactly why the massive spying program is so freaking insidious, and everyone should be

 

outraged about it.

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Response to Pholus (Reply #31)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 12:37 PM

50. That's the next step. It's coming unless we stop this madness.

Why can't a cop simply place cameras on someone's house recording 24 hours a day.

We have helicopters over our heads every day in the big city, and we still have crime, even shootings and pretty much in the same area, within maybe a 20-block radius. But the helicopters don't end the shootings and other crime. So why are they hovering over us so much?

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 06:39 PM

35. The Secret Government



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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 06:45 PM

36. I agree

If we don't know what's going on our representatives are not representing the voters any more.

I actually can't imagine how any one COULD disagree with your contention in the OP.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 06:47 PM

38. f'n a - k 'n r

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 02:44 AM

45. No there isn't, you are correct. But we stopped being a democracy quite a while ago. We tried to

fix that by 'electing Democrats' in 2008 and failed. So what now?

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 02:45 AM

46. That's pre-2008 thinking citizen. Your post has been logged. nt

 

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 12:39 PM

51. what's scary is, ignorance of the law is no excuse

 

even if the law you broke, is a secret

better watch your step, mister

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 12:42 PM

52. you better celebrate your freedom this 4th, because it

 

looks bad to the NSA, if you dont

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 12:51 PM

53. That's

"There is absolutely no such thing as a secret body of law in a democracy."

...likely true in a perfect world or in theory, but the "secret" court was established following the Chuch Committee recommendations.

Introduced in the Senate as S. 1566 by Edward Kennedy (D–MA) on May 18, 1977
Committee consideration by: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee on the Judiciary
Passed the Senate on March 20, 1978 (95-1)
Passed the House on September 7, 1978 (246-128)
Reported by the joint conference committee on October 5, 1978; agreed to by the Senate on October 9, 1978 (Without objection) and by the House on October 12, 1978 (226-176)
Signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 25, 1978


The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was introduced on May 18, 1977, by Senator Ted Kennedy and was signed into law by President Carter in 1978. The bill was cosponsored by nine Senators: Birch Bayh, James O. Eastland, Jake Garn, Walter Huddleston, Daniel Inouye, Charles Mathias, John L. McClellan, Gaylord Nelson, and Strom Thurmond.

The FISA resulted from extensive investigations by Senate Committees into the legality of domestic intelligence activities. These investigations were led separately by Sam Ervin and Frank Church in 1978 as a response to President Richard Nixon’s usage of federal resources to spy on political and activist groups, which violates the Fourth Amendment.[4] The act was created to provide Judicial and congressional oversight of the government's covert surveillance activities of foreign entities and individuals in the United States, while maintaining the secrecy needed to protect national security. It allowed surveillance, without court order, within the United States for up to one year unless the "surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party". If a United States person is involved, judicial authorization was required within 72 hours after surveillance begins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act

Remember the vote for the Patriot Act
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022987423

If the Patriot Act is repealed, should the secret FISA Court be abolished?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022999502

Also, Udall and Wyden aren't calling for a repeal of the Patriot Act, they're proposing a fix.

The FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013

June 26, 2013

For Background Purposes

Public revelations about two classified data collection programs have brought renewed attention to the powerful Government surveillance authorities contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), particularly the impact on law-abiding Americans of provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The Director of National Intelligence has acknowledged that they are being conducted pursuant to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT and Section 702 of FISA. The FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 will improve the privacy protections and accountability provisions associated with these authorities, and also strengthen oversight and transparency with regard to other provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Summarized below are some of the highlights of the bill’s provisions:

New and Shorter Sunset Provisions to Ensure Proper Oversight

  • Shortens the sunset for the FISA Amendments Act from December 2017 to June 2015. The June 2015 sunset would align with expiring USA PATRIOT Act provisions, and enable Congress to address these FISA provisions all at once, instead of in a piecemeal fashion.

  • Adds new June 2015 sunsets on statutes authorizing use of National Security Letters (NSLs).

Higher Standards for PATRIOT Act Surveillance Authorities

  • Elevates the threshold standard for obtaining records through Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act by requiring the government to show relevance to an authorized investigation and a link to one of three categories of a foreign agent, power, or group.

  • Requires that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approve minimization procedures for data collected under Section 215.

  • Requires the government to provide a statement of the facts and circumstances to justify its belief that the Section 215 records for tangible things, or Pen Register and Trap and Trace Devices (PR/TT) sought are relevant to an authorized investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information.

  • Strikes the one-year waiting period before a recipient can challenge a nondisclosure order for Section 215 orders and strikes the conclusive presumption in favor of the government on nondisclosure.

  • Requires the FBI to retain an internal statement of facts demonstrating the relevance of information sought to its investigation before it can issue a National Security Letter (NSL).

  • For “roving” wiretaps, requires law enforcement to identify “with particularity” the target of a wiretap request under FISA.

Increased Transparency and Public Reporting

  • Expands public reporting on the use of National Security Letters and authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including an unclassified report on the impact of the use of these authorities on the privacy of United States persons.

  • Fixes a constitutional deficiency found by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Doe v. Mukasey by shifting the burden to the government to seek a court order for an NSL non-disclosure order, and allows the recipient of such a non-disclosure order to challenge it at any time.

Increased Judicial Review and Inspector General Oversight

  • Requires Inspector General audits on the use of Section 215 orders, NSLs, and other surveillance authorities under the USA PATRIOT Act.

  • Provides for a comprehensive review of FISA Amendments Act (Section 702) surveillance by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IC IG).

  • Clarifies the scope of the annual reviews for Section 702 currently required by the law, in order to cover all agencies that have targeting or minimization procedures approved by the FISA Court.
http://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/the-fisa-accountability-and-privacy-protection-act-of-2013


The co-sponsors include Senators Richard Blumenthal, Jon Tester, Mark Udall and Ron Wyden.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Original post)

Wed Jul 3, 2013, 01:38 PM

54. There are, however, secret courts ... FISA ... ahem

Bake

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