OVERVIEWS

Constitutional & Legal Issues

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review

Materials presented in chronological order.

Eggen, Dan. "Broad U.S. Wiretap Powers Upheld: Secret Court Lifts Bar on Terror Suspect Surveillance." Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2002, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 18 November 2002, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, in its first ruling, "found that the USA Patriot Act ... allows intelligence investigators and criminal prosecutors to more easily share information about ongoing terrorism and espionage cases.... Appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the current intelligence appeals panel comprises three semi-retired appellate court judges: Ralph B. Guy, Edward Leavy and Laurence Hirsch Silberman." See also, Neil A. Lewis, "Court Overturns Limits on Wiretaps to Combat Terror," New York Times, 19 Nov. 2002.

Washington Post. "[Editorial:] Chipping Away at Liberty." Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2002, A24. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The unanimous decision" by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review "presents a compelling reading of the law. The fault for the problem it creates lies not with the court but with Congress, for the carelessness and haste with which it passed the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and its unwillingness to push back against Bush administration excesses."

Bazan, Elizabeth B. The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review: An Overview. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 24 Jan. 2007. [http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL33833.pdf]

From "Summary": "This report examines the creation, membership, structure, and jurisdiction" of the FISC and the FISCR.

Bazan, Elizabeth B. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Updated 15 Feb. 2007. [http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RL30465.pdf]

"This report will examine the detailed statutory structure provided by FISA and related provisions of E.O. 12333, and will discuss the decisions of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [17 May 2002] and the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review [18 November 2002]."

Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "Court Affirms Wiretapping Without Warrants." New York Times, 16 Jan. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In a ruling handed down in August 2008 and made public on 15 January 2009, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review "has said telecommunications companies must cooperate with the government to intercept international phone calls and e-mail of American citizens suspected of being spies or terrorists." The ruling is "the first by an appeals court that says the Fourth Amendment's requirement for warrants does not apply to the foreign collection of intelligence involving Americans. That finding could have broad implications for United States national security law."

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