FISA

Ken Lund / Ben Balter (background)

First passed in 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) still guides the physical and electronic surveillance of foreign powers and agents. Congress has repeatedly amended the law, however, seeking to calibrate the government’s surveillance to accord with the level of threat and seeking to keep authorities current as technology develops at breakneck speed. Nevertheless, even authorized activities affirmatively permitted by statute have come under fire as a torrent of leaks have revealed government surveillance programs under the statute.

Latest in FISA

FISA

FISC Declassifies Order About Carter Page FISA Applications

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has declassified an order about the Department of Justice's handling of 2016 and 2016 applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant for Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The Dec. 2019 Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report about the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election devoted considerable discussion to the Page warrants.

FISA

David Kris Submits Amicus Letter Brief to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

David Kris, whom the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court appointed as amicus curiae to review the FBI's filing before the court regarding FBI and Justice Department practices in filing FISA warrants, has filed a letter brief with the court in response to the FBI's submission. The brief is available here and below.

FISA

FBI Responds to FISA Court Order Regarding Inspector General Report

The FBI has filed a response to the order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) requesting further information on FBI and Justice Department practices in filing FISA warrants before the court in the wake of the Justice Department inspector general's report identifying failures in the Carter Page FISA application. The document is available here.

FISA

Thoughts on the Horowitz Report, Part II: What the Inspector General Did Not Find

The investigation may have taken steps that the inspector general thinks unwise, thinks should have been forbidden by policy, and thinks should have required more Justice Department consultation. But it was, in fact, about Russia. It was always about Russia. Full stop.

FBI

FISA Court Order Seeks Information About FBI Lawyer's Misconduct

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court released a declassified order dated Dec. 5, which showed a request for information from the government by Dec. 20 regarding the FBI Office of General Counsel lawyer who altered the FISA applications of Carter Page as documented in the recent Justice Department inspector general's report. The court sought details related to other matters with which this attorney was involved and verification that he had been referred for investigation.

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