FBI can secretly spy on Americans even if its useless oversight court says no


I’m puzzled. The FI in FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence, so why would they be involved in domestic law enforcement? I know the lines are blurry, but that blurry?

It will be interesting to see when and how US people start delivering some real ultimata to their feds, and impose some real consequences for this sort of abuse.

I applaud your optimism.


The NSA is supposed to be limited to what they do in the US and often have to go through the FBI to get info from US companies.

Yes, and NSL’s are very blunt instruments for that task. They are insidious things. The anti-disclosure requirements alone make my skin crawl.

1 Like

BoingBoing might as well shout this stuff down a well for all the good it does. The CIA hacked Congressional computers! That should be treason. In the US-of-By-God-A, someone should go against the wall for that.

These organizations have seemingly limitless power and are accountable to no one. They are the most threatening thing I can think of in modern American life. How will this all end?


My understanding is that that’s exactly the (troubling) point:

If the NSA wants something; but the FISA court shockingly grows a spine and says “Um, guys, you aren’t supposed to be a domestic surveillance agency, remember?”, the NSA can then just ask the FBI(who are empowered to do domestic investigation, and can issue crazy-unconstitutional NSLs) to issue an NSL demanding exactly the same information that the FISA court just said that they couldn’t get. Since the FBI has different powers, and doesn’t answer to the FISA court(and since NSLs are specifically designed to be nearly impossible to resist), they can score the data that way, and send it over to the sinister black cube by means of some ‘inter-agency-cooperation’ mechanism or other.

Aha. So the headline is a little off - the FISA isn’t the FBI’s oversight. I didn’t think so, but the way everything is Homeland Security now, I thought maybe I was just being quaint.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.