Spy Court Fast Facts

Spy Court Fast Facts

Posted: Aug 29, 2021 8:30 AM
Updated: Aug 29, 2021 8:30 AM

Here's some background information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Facts

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was created in 1978.

It exists to oversee and authorize activities carried out under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

About the Court

Before the Patriot Act (2001), foreign intelligence had to be a primary purpose of the investigation. Now, foreign intelligence has to be a significant purpose.

The court meets in a high security room, on the sixth floor of the Justice Department.

All proceedings of the court are secret.

The court has two parts: a lower court and a Court of Review.

The lower court has a rotating panel of 11 Federal District Court judges. At least three of the judges must live within 20 miles of the District of Columbia.

The Court of Review consists of three judges.

Timeline

October 25, 1978 - President Jimmy Carter signs the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law, which establishes the court.

October 26, 2001 - President George W. Bush signs into law the USA Patriot Act, after the attacks of September 11th.

May 17, 2002 - The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court turns down the Justice Department's request to allow intelligence agents and criminal prosecutors more freedom to work together on cases. According to the New York Times, this is the first time in its 24-year history that the court turned down a request from the Justice Department.

May 17, 2002 - The court identifies 75 cases in which the FBI and Justice Department submitted false information in order to gain approval for surveillance. All of the cases occurred during the administration of Bill Clinton.

August 22, 2002 - The Justice Department appeals the ruling handed down by the lower court in May.

September 9, 2002 - The Court of Review meets for the first time in its history. The judges hear arguments from Solicitor General Theodore Olson that the USA Patriot Act of 2001 has expanded the scope of FISA and allows for greater cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement agencies. No other opinions are heard, as per the rules of the court.

September 10, 2002 - The Senate Judiciary Committee calls on the Court of Review to make public all transcripts from the September 9 hearing, as well as the Court's decision. Senator Patrick Leahy, head of the Judiciary Committee, says, "We need to know how this law (the Patriot Act) is being interpreted and applied.''

November 2, 2002 - The Court of Review overturns a key court ruling which had placed limits on the government's use of wiretaps targeting suspected spies and terrorists.

December 15, 2005 - The New York Times reports that Bush signed a presidential order in 2002 allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on Americans and others in the US (on international calls) without obtaining warrants through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court . The newspaper reports that as many as 500 people in the US are being monitored at any one time, and between 5,000 and 7,000 people overseas are being wiretapped.

December 16, 2005 - In his live weekly radio address, Bush acknowledges that he has authorized wiretaps without warrants but defends the action as "fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities."

December 19, 2005 - At a news conference, Bush defends the warrantless wiretapping, "This program is carefully reviewed approximately every 45 days to ensure it is being used properly. Leaders in the United States Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this program. And it has been effective in disrupting the enemy while safeguarding our civil liberties. This program has targeted those with known links to al-Qaida. I've reauthorized this program more than 30 times since September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill our American citizens."

December 19, 2005 - Lower court judge James Robertson resigns, via letter to Chief Justice John Roberts. According to the Washington Post, the resignation is in protest of Bush's actions concerning the warrantless wiretaps.

August 17, 2006 - Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, strikes down the NSA warrantless wiretapping program, saying that it violates free speech and privacy rights.

January 17, 2007 - The Bush Administration announces that it will allow the court to oversee its domestic surveillance program and will seek the court's permission before eavesdropping. This reverses the position held by the administration since the secret wiretapping program was revealed in 2005.

August 5, 2007 - Bush signs into law the Protect America Act of 2007, which updates the Foreign Surveillance Act of 1978, but only for a period of six months. The new law gives the attorney general or the director of national intelligence the authority to approve surveillance of suspected terrorists overseas, bypassing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court .

June 5, 2013 - The British newspaper The Guardian publishes a top secret FISA court order requiring Verizon to turn over millions of its customers' telephone records to the National Security Agency. According to the report, the order was requested by the FBI and gives the NSA blanket access to the phone records of millions of Americans.

January 17, 2014 - President Barack Obama calls on Congress to authorize establishment of a new panel of outside advocates to participate in "significant cases" before the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that handles intelligence collection issues.

June 2, 2015 - Obama signs the USA Freedom Act, which includes a number of FISA court reforms. FISA court decisions will be declassified, as per the law, and an expert panel will be established to advise the court on civil liberties, technology and other matters. Under the new rules, investigative agencies must get FISA court authorization to access metadata from telecommunications companies. The USA Freedom Act allows the NSA to collect phone records for a limited six-month transitional period.

April 12, 2017 - The Washington Post reports that the FBI and the Justice Department obtained a warrant from a FISA court judge to monitor President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser, Carter Page, as part of its investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

September 18, 2017 - CNN reports that US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election. Surveillance began in 2014 after the FBI began investigating Washington consulting firms working for Ukraine's former ruling party and was discontinued in 2016 due to lack of evidence. A new FISA court warrant was obtained after the FBI began investigating ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives.

March 28, 2018 - The Justice Department's internal watchdog announces that it has launched a probe into the department and the FBI's handling of warrant applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

July 21, 2018 - The FBI releases a redacted version of its previously classified foreign surveillance warrant application on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

August 19, 2020 - Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith formally pleads guilty to changing text in an email when working to renew the surveillance application of Page in 2017. He admits to one charge of altering an email to another official in 2017 that said Page wasn't a previous government source, when he had been one.

April 19, 2021 - The ACLU and other groups ask the Supreme Court to consider whether a special court that reviews government requests for electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes must disclose significant opinions that came after 9/11. The filing marks the first time the Supreme Court has been asked to resolve whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must make its secret opinions public -- subject to redactions.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 396501

Reported Deaths: 5268
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah61066850
Washington42631406
Marion40277517
Clackamas33256388
Lane30473363
Jackson25211363
Deschutes23984192
Umatilla15155184
Linn14966184
Douglas13608295
Josephine10357248
Yamhill9878145
Klamath9120152
Polk8347103
Benton622940
Malheur593592
Coos5806109
Columbia441156
Jefferson426066
Lincoln367952
Crook343958
Union341456
Wasco319646
Clatsop265435
Baker222533
Tillamook219846
Hood River217237
Morrow198425
Curry194239
Harney121733
Grant109116
Lake106318
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1161
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5127121

Reported Deaths: 74911
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153745027248
San Diego4104514351
Riverside3912955388
San Bernardino3784085998
Orange3367395771
Sacramento1699162460
Kern1588341838
Fresno1581872284
Santa Clara1536961933
Alameda1262241513
San Joaquin1084911837
Ventura1049251194
Contra Costa1046451058
Stanislaus922291434
Tulare869791102
San Francisco57458674
San Mateo56861631
Monterey52973626
Solano48014360
Santa Barbara47846555
Merced45506672
Sonoma43609414
Placer42736473
Imperial39148778
Kings35547369
San Luis Obispo31803360
Madera26511311
Shasta26353462
Butte25690320
Santa Cruz22540224
Yolo21792263
Marin18728249
El Dorado18544168
Sutter14691186
Napa13501107
Yuba1084791
Humboldt10360119
Tehama10329133
Nevada10187105
Mendocino873799
Lassen801259
San Benito793979
Tuolumne782691
Lake7073113
Amador583267
Siskiyou480757
Glenn460336
Calaveras449988
Del Norte380442
Colusa329821
Inyo259446
Plumas19679
Mono19274
Mariposa163318
Trinity102117
Modoc7956
Unassigned3820
Sierra2210
Alpine1080
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 45°
Crater Lake
Mostly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 43°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 43°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Showers ending tonight, valley fog forms
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Monday, December 6th Evening Weather

Image

Two victims identified in fiery plane crash outside Medford Airport Chevrolet

Image

Monday, December 6 afternoon weather

Image

RAW VIDEO: Plane crashes into Medford car lot after takeoff

Image

Pilot dies in Medford plane crash near the Airport Chevrolet on Biddle Road

Image

Monday, December 6 morning weather

Image

Medford Plane Crash

Image

Sunday, December 5th Weather

Image

Sunday, December 5th Weather

Image

Saturday, December 4th Weather