The bad joke called ‘the FISA court’ shows how a ‘drone court’ would work
Newly released data show that the government submitted 1,789 eavesdropping requests last year, and none was rejected
(Note: FISA affects every US Cloud provider, and every European Civilian).
From the start, the Fisa court was a radical perversion of the judicial process. It convened in total secrecy and its rulings were classified. The standard the government had to meet was not the traditional “probable cause” burden imposed by the Fourth Amendment but a significantly diluted standard. There was nothing adversarial about the proceeding: only the Justice Department (DOJ) was permitted to be present, but not any lawyers for the targets of the eavesdropping request, who were not notified. Reflecting its utter lack of real independence, the court itself was housed in the DOJ.
And, and was totally predictable, the court barely ever rejected a government request for eavesdropping. From its inception, it was the ultimate rubber-stamp court, having rejected a total of zero government applications – zero – in its first 24 years of existence, while approving many thousands. In its total 34 year history – from 1978 through 2012 – the Fisa court has rejected a grand total of 11 government applications, while approving more than 20,000.