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Senators fight for release of opinions of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) has made decisions about the constitutional rights that remain secret, reports the American Civil Liberties, Michelle Richardson, January 11, 2013. The FISA authorizes intelligence surveillance activities, but claims that decisions cannot be released in any meaningful form given how operations details that need to remain classified are intertwined with the court’s constitutional interpretations.

In Secrecy News, January 8, 2013, Steven Aftergood describes the efforts of Senators Jeff Merkley and Dianne Feinstein to find a viable way to release the information in the FISA opinions. The FISA has released opinions, two in 2002 and one in 2008, and Aftergood suggests that they might use a “tearline format” that allows them to prepare their own opinions stating the findings without specifics of highly classified material.

At any rate, “Without pressure from Congress, the national security establishment will continue sucking up communications of people inside the United States without transparency or accountability, writes Richardson. -db



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