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Podcast Episode: Antitrust/Pro-Internet

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Illegal and Unconstitutional

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Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Illegal and Unconstitutional

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was passed in 1978 after the Church Committee, a special investigative committee, uncovered illegal and unconstitutional spying of Americans by the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, and the IRS. Congress in FISA created a secret court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC, or FISA Court) to oversee the targeted spying on specific and identified agents of foreign powers. But after 9/11, President Bush bypassed the FISA Court and began illegally spying on domestic communications en masse. Journalists and whistleblowers exposed the illegal surveillance a few years later, but Congress failed to stop it. Instead, it passed the 2008 FISA Amendments Act (FISA AA) to justify more spying. In particular, Section 702 is used for mass collection of emails, phone calls and other communications to or from Americans as well as foreigners.

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