Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Secret FISA court proves why we aren't supposed to have secret courts.

President Obama won permission from the FISA court in 2011 to reverse the collection and use of American's communications, allowing that agency to search domestic communication between citizens. Such searches were previously illegal.

The FISA court authorized collection and searches of citizen's data back in 2011, despite presidential assurances it could not do so.

The FISA court authorized collection and searches of citizen's data back in 2011, despite presidential assurances it could not do so.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, Fourth Amendment, FISA, court, secret, ruling, communications, data collection, retention


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A declassified ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) reveals that the Obama administration was given the authority via the NSA to sift through domestic communications for intelligence information.

The FISA is a secret court that handles legal issues pertaining to the NSA and its activities.

According to the declassified document which details the court's 2011 ruling, the Obama administration sought a reveral of a 2008 rule that prevented the NSA from searching through records of intercepted U.S. communications.

We have long been told that the NSA is only allowed to intercept and search foreign communications. We now know this is an absolute lie, and the NSA routinely intercepts the communications of Americans and searches those communications. Furthermore, this practice has been legalized by the secret court trusted to oversee the NSA and encouraged by the Obama administration.

The problem with the ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, is that it strips Fourth Amendment protection from American citizens.

The Fourth Amendment requires either probable cause or a warrant before a citizen's communications can be seized and searched. The NSA is able to ignore these basic rights and lawfully collect information on citizens as long as agents "reasonably believe" that they include foreign communications.  However, there is a recognition that much of the communication they intercept does not meet this criteria. Again, according to secret FISA court rulings, this is okay.

Those communications can also be searched at will.

The ruling also allows communications and records to be retained for an additional year beyond what they were before. This was to provide consistency between organizations, and now allows the NSA to retain your data for six years instead of five.

For ordinary Americans there is little we can do. Even data encryption seems to be worthless. This is what happens when an administration takes office and is directed by a president who fancies himself a constitutional scholar. That president provides minimal oversight to an omnipotent government agency that is trusted to regulate itself with sweeping powers.

The combination is lethal to liberty.

Because the court is a secret court, it isn't subject to media and public scrutiny like other courts. This is the reason why secret courts are a bad idea and we're not supposed to have them.

Unfortunately, most Americans are untroubled by it, believing that as long as they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear. Already, we have sacrificed our privacy on the altar of social networking, so for the NSA to go one step further and collect the balance of our communications seems to be a non-issue for many Americans. Apathy is the primary emotion.

Yet, this is the fertile ground of tyranny. For now, we're pursuing terrorists both foreign and domestic. Supposedly the program has stopped dead, some fifty or more potential terror attacks. We really have no way to confirm these results.

However, there is a decent chance that this technology will someday soon be used to lord over the American people, to police them and ultimately control them. Every other technological innovation has eventually been used as a tool of war and coercion at some point. Eventually, this technology will do the same.

When that happens, we will all wish we had paid better attention.


Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Why two religious Republican presidential candidates weren't invited to a major Christian event Watch

Image of The reason is not as controversial as many speculated.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Some were left puzzled as to why two Southern Baptist presidential candidates from the GOP were left out of a major Christian event; the reason was not as bad as some speculated. According to the official statement from the organizers of the event, the two candidates ... continue reading


Judge threatens to hold IRS chief John Koskinen in contempt for failing to turn over Lerner emails Watch

Image of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was threatened with contempt charges by a federal judge this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was threatened with contempt charges by a federal judge this week. Koskinen failed to produce, by decree, newly recovered emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had ordered the IRS at ... continue reading


Mitch McConnell says he will wipe out Obamacare with simple 51-vote majority Watch

Image of In the waning days of President Barack Obama's presidency, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is vowing to overthrow his signature legislation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the waning days of President Barack Obama's presidency, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is vowing to overthrow his signature legislation. Health care reform, better known as "Obamacare" has been a cause of disagreement with conservatives and ... continue reading


Moves made to oust John Boehner from Speaker of the House position Watch

Image of Rep. Mark Meadows [not pictured] declared his intention a day before the House was set to leave town for its five-week summer recess. Described as a rare procedural move, it's by far the most serious expression of opposition to Boehner's [pictured] speakership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many of his fellow conservatives and Republicans were taken by surprise when North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said he was trying to oust Speaker John Boehner. Many say it's a bad idea, coming just before August recess. Others say such a move could plunge the House of ... continue reading


Ivana Trump hotly denies that ex-husband Donald Trump ever raped her Watch

Image of Ivana Trump, the former wife of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has denied claims that he ever raped her.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ivana Trump, the former wife of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has denied claims that he ever raped her. "I have recently read some comments attributed to me from nearly 30 years ago at a time of very high tension during my divorce from Donald. The story is ... continue reading


HILLARY LIED! Inspector General says personal emails contained classified information Watch

Image of Only allowed to review a sample of 40 out of the total of 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton's private email server, four of those emails contained classified information.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton's personal email account "contained classified information when they were generated," "remain classified today" and "should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system." Those are the findings of the U.S. Intelligence ... continue reading


GLOVES ARE OFF: Donald Trump denounces Bush, Walker and Clinton as being beholden to donors Watch

Image of Speaking east of Des Moines, Donald Trump was most concise in his attack upon Walker. Criticizing the Wisconsin governor's handling of his state's economy, Trump accused him of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At a "free-wheeling" press conference, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump says he is putting no cap into the money he is going to pour into his campaign. A self-made billionaire in real estate, Trump denounced Republican candidates Jeb Bush and Scott ... continue reading


Nuns vs. Obama: Obama Administration refuses to exempt Little Sisters of the Poor from regulation forcing them to distribute birth control Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The national debate over the Affordable Care Act is heating up. A Romantic Catholic group of nuns, who manage a nursing home around the world called the Little Sisters of the Poor, continue their fight against the law's debatable contraceptive mandate. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Millions upon Millions of United Kingdom aid money funneled to the Clintons Watch

Image of The Clinton Health Access Initiative spends its funds on improving the treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world, such as in Africa and Southeast Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Influential people, falling sway to a former United States president - and his wife, with eyes on the White House, it was learned that tens of millions of pounds of United Kingdom aid money has been siphoned through charities linked to Hillary Clinton. LOS ... continue reading


Displeased with 'attack' editorial, Donald Trump bars Iowa newspaper from campaign event Watch

Image of It was yet another gutsy move from the billionaire real estate tycoon, which may alienate some - as well as win new friends.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was yet another gutsy move from the billionaire real estate tycoon, which may alienate some - as well as win new friends. Displeased with an editorial published in the Des Moines Register, asking him to withdraw from the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
16 Moses did this; he did exactly as Yahweh had ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter