MSNBC Countdown : FISA : Supreme Court says No

MSNBC
Countdown
Keith Olbermann

2008-02-19
Supreme Court says no to FISA

Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley discusses the Supreme Court’s decision to turn down the ACLU’s legal challenge to President Bush’s domestic spying program.

Source
http://msnbc.com

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The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 is a U.S. federal law prescribing procedures for the physical & electronic surveillance & collection of “foreign intelligence information” between or among “foreign powers” on territory under United States control.

FISA is codified in 50 U.S.C. 1801–1811, 1821–29, 1841–46, and 1861–62.

The subchapters of FISA provide for:

– Electronic Surveillance
– Physical Searches
– Pen Registers and Trap & Trace Devices for Foreign Intelligence Purposes
– Access to certain Business Records for Foreign Intelligence Purposes

The act created a court which meets in secret, & approves or denies requests for search warrants.
Only the number of warrants applied for, issued and denied, is reported.

In 1980 (the first full year after its inception), it approved 322 warrants.
This number has steadily grown to 2224 warrants in 2006.
Only 5 warrants have been rejected since the court first met in 1979.

The Act was amended by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, primarily to include terrorism on behalf of groups that are not specifically backed by a foreign government.

An overhaul of the bill, the Protect America Act of 2007 was signed into law on 2007-08-05.

Source
http://wikipedia.org

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