Jun 30, 2013

Secret Court Judges Speak Out

Secret Court Judges Speak Out

The Washington Post reports on the frustration of the judges that sit on the secret court where warrant-less eavesdropping by the government is approved. The judges are frustrated by their portrayal in the media as collaborators in the government's illegal and out of control surveillance programs. 

The judges insist they are not collaborators.

The judges are restricted from discussing much of what they do because of the government's steadfast refusal to allow them to, given the extreme secrecy of the court. With regular courts, the prosecution presents its case against the accused, and the defense presents its case. One of the judges wrote Senator Diane Feinstein to explain why publicizing court decisions is a bad idea; you can read his letter to her HERE.

In the secret surveillance court, a Justice Department official asks for permission to carry out surveillance inside the United States. There is no one to speak for the target of the surveillance, or for the company that is ordered to allow its networks to be tapped or to turn over its customers’ data.

And every request the government makes is granted by the court, all in secret, with no published rulings, and without the knowledge of those being spied out, innocent or not.

As The New York Times points out, this secret court has established on its own a growing body of law that gives the NSA incredibly sweeping powers, with no oversight at all, and that lack of oversight has led to an expansion of the NSA's powers. Read the article HERE.

The judges are starting to speak out to defend the work they do. You can read the article HERE.

No comments: