Home Cyber Crime Secret court judge orders FBI to reform FISA process

Secret court judge orders FBI to reform FISA process

by ethhack

Spurred by a Justice Department inspector
general (IG) report
that found the FBI made serious mistakes in a FISA surveillance application
during its Russia probe, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge ordered
the bureau to submit changes to the process for obtaining permission for
surveillance.

“The frequency with which representations made by
F.B.I. personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in
their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their
case, calls into question whether information contained in other F.B.I.
applications is reliable,” Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, the court’s presiding
judge, said. “The
FISC expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in
every filing with the Court. Without it, the FISC cannot properly ensure that
the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence
purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis.”

In a more than 400-page report, Justice
Department IG Michael Horowitz said while investigators acted appropriately in
opening a probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and
Russian operatives, he found numerous mistakes and omissions in the FISA
application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The report debunked allegations by the president
and his supporters that the origins of the Russia probe, initially led by then
FBI Director James Comey whose firing prompted the appointment of Special
Counsel Robert Mueller, did not have political underpinnings. But it sparked a
wave of criticism of the FBI and its handling of the Page surveillance
application.

Prompted by a Justice Department inspector general (IG) report that found the FBI made serious mistakes in a FISA surveillance application during its Russia probe, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge ordered the bureau to submit changes to the process for obtaining permission for surveillance.

“The frequency with which representations made by
F.B.I. personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in
their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their
case, calls into question whether information contained in other F.B.I.
applications is reliable,” Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, the court’s presiding
judge, said.

In a more than 400-page report, Justice
Department IG Michael Horowitz said while investigators acted appropriately in
opening a probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and
Russian operatives, he found numerous mistakes and omissions in the FISA
application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The report debunked allegations by the president and his supporters that the origins of the Russia probe, initially led by then FBI Director James Comey whose firing prompted the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, did not have political underpinnings. But it sparked a wave of criticism of the FBI and its handling of the Page surveillance application.

Rights groups have long decried surveillance abuses and the potential for abuses in the FISA process. “This was not the first time the government abused its surveillance powers, nor was it the first time the intelligence court was made aware of surveillance abuses,” said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Neema Singh Guliani. “Congress must radically reform the FISA process to increase accountability, and to ensure that there is a meaningful opportunity to challenge the government’s allegations in FISA applications. We can’t trust the secret intelligence court alone to police this process.”

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