How do we maintain fundamental American rights of liberty and privacy while responding to the need to keep our country safe?
POGO, OpenTheGovernment.org, and National Security Counselors have presented the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) with a number of recommendations to create a more transparent and accountable national security apparatus.
Transparency advocates have long called for the declassification of secret court opinions that have allowed broad domestic surveillance. A recent letter from the court responsible for approving surveillance requests casts doubt on the release of these opinions, but on questionable grounds.
The recent whistleblowing disclosures by Edward Snowden have revealed systemic mass domestic surveillance. The government has justified its programs on the grounds that they are both legal and overseen by the FISA Court. But what do the PATRIOT Act, FISA, and the FISA Court actually do?