Latest in FISA

The National Security Law Podcast

The National Security Law Podcast: A Deep Dive Into…the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

Welcome to part one of a two-part deep-dive series concerning FISA! In this episode, Professors Chesney and Vladeck begin with the history and context leading up to the creation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and then explain the central features of the statute and some of the key issues that arose during its first two decades. Part two (episode 97), which carries the story forward to the present, will post tomorrow!

Oh, hey, while we have your attention: Yes, there was another two-week extension in Doe v. Mattis.

surveillance

The NSA and the USA Freedom Act

The National Security Agency has announced a startling failure in the implementation of the USA Freedom Act of 2015. According to a public statement released by NSA on June 28, the call detail records that NSA has been receiving from telephone companies under the Act are infected with errors, NSA cannot isolate and correct those errors, and so it has decided to purge from its data repositories all of the CDRs ever received under the Act.

FISA: 702 Collection

A Way Forward on Section 702 Queries

The legislative debate over Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has ended with passage of a six-year reauthorization that omitted many of the provisions privacy advocates had argued were necessary. But the legal and policy debate is likely to continue in the U.S. and in European courts.

We took different positions in the overall debate on Section 702. But we agree that there is an important step the U.S. government can take now to bolster transparency and accountability within the program without unduly burdening legitimate intelligence activities.

FISA: 702 Collection

The Merits of Supporting 702 Reauthorization (Despite Worries About Trump and the Rule of Law)

The Senate voted by a razor-thin margin Tuesday to invoke cloture on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would reauthorize for six years Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The bill includes some significant changes to 702, though the reforms are substantially more modest than those sought by privacy advocates.

FISA Reform

The Year in Review: FISA Section 702

Lawfare carried comprehensive coverage of this year’s developments in the lead up to the Dec. 31, 2017 reauthorization deadline for Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (along with the other provisions of the law’s Title VII). The government bought itself a few more weeks in last week’s continuing resolution to extend government spending, when Congress and the White House pushed the deadline for reauthorization forward to Jan. 19 of next year.

Podcasts

The National Security Law Podcast Episode 15: Skirmishes in the Surveillance Wars

In this surveillance-heavy episode [Please use that link; we're still having trouble with the embed code], Professors Chesney and Vladeck dig into a raft of news about foreign-intelligence collection authorities. They open with an overview of how Section 702 collection authority works, and then unpack the recent news that NSA is dropping the “about” collection component of Upstream collection under 702.

Section 702

Can NSA Drop "About" Collection Without Gutting "To/From" Collection?

The mystery as to why there was no Section 702 application or certification reported for 2016 has now been solved (I'm assuming readers know today's big 702 news, flagged by Quinta here, and as explored in detail by Charlie Savage in this article): NSA has been struggling to resolve a problem with "about" collection under the Upstream heading, including in particular a problem with analysts quering the fruits

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