In November of 2019 buried deep in the congressional budget Continuing Resolution (CR) was a short-term extension to reauthorize the FISA “business records provision”, the “roving wiretap” provision, the “lone wolf” provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], all parts of the Patriot Act. As a result of the FISA CR inclusion the terminal deadline was pushed to March 15, 2020.
~ Something has to happen this week
The Senate is scheduled to recess March 13, 2020. Additionally, the DOJ/FBI response to the FISA court order (due February 5th) has still not been made public. If congress is going to reauthorize the controversial FISA provisions, they now have only *FIVE* days; and the good news today is Doug Collins confirming the House does not have enough votes to support a “clean reauthorization.” Hopefully, that means FISA is going to change.
According to Senator Rand Paul, President Trump is committed to seeing that FISA is not reauthorized without “significant” reform. Senator Paul has proposed to significantly change the FISA process by forcing the DOJ, FBI and Intelligence Community to apply for search and surveillance warrants to Title-3 courts in order to access any NSA database containing private information of American citizens.
Prior to the December 9, 2019, inspector general report on FISA abuse, FISA Court judges Rosemary Collyer (declassified 2017) and James Boasberg (declassified 2019) both identified issues with the NSA bulk database collection program being exploited for unauthorized reasons. Americans were under surveillance as part of the political process.
For the past several years no corrective action taken by the intelligence community has improved the abuses outlined by the FISA court; the surveillance has only worsened.
Also keep in mind the deadline for the DOJ to respond to the FISA court about the abusive intelligence practices identified in the Horowitz report was February 5th, more than four weeks ago. The responses from the DOJ and FBI have not been made public.
FISA Court Order – FISA Court Notice of Extension.
The DOJ is trying to get the FISA reauthorization before the FISC declassifies the corrective action outlined from the prior court order. The pending DOJ response will include information about the “sequestering” of evidence gathered as a result of the now admitted fraudulent and misrepresented information within the FISA applications.
The U.S. constitution’s fourth amendment is being violated by the continued abuse of bulk metadata collection, particularly when private contractors and government officials illegally access the system. The 2016 FISA review (Judge Collyer partly declassified in 2017) and the 2018 FISA review (Judge Boasberg partly declassified in 2019) both show ongoing and systematic wrongdoing despite all prior corrective action and promises.
Declassification of existing FISA records would reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse as outlined in the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Who exactly are these private sector FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries? This was a weaponized surveillance and domestic political spying operation. [The trail was laid down in specific detail by Judge Collyer – SEE HERE]
The FISA “business records provision”, the “roving wiretap” provision, the “lone wolf” provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], again all parts of the Patriot Act, must not be reauthorized without a full public vetting of the abuses that have taken place for the past several years.
The position being put forth by Rand Paul is exactly correct. Change the law so that FISA can only be used against foreign actors, and force the DOJ or intelligence apparatus to go to a normal Title-3 court for a search/surveillance warrant against any American.