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New FISC Rules of Procedure

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Steve Aftergood has the link, and very useful commentary, here.

Two important points highlighted by Steve:

(i) The FISC remains obligated under its own Rule 3 to comply with EO 13526, which among other things prohibits disclosures of classified information absent review by the classifying agency (Steve explains how this sheds light on otherwise ambiguous language in another part of the new rules, which as previously noted might otherwise be read to give the FISC authority to disclose classified information without such review).

(ii) On the other hand, a separate provision in the Rules expressly authorizes the FISC’s presiding judge to “provide copies of Court orders, opinions, decisions, or other records to Congress.”  My understanding is that such authority previously has not been exercised by the FISC, and perhaps not even claimed by it, though I certainly could be wrong about that.