Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Report

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 26, 2003

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released a report yesterday, highly critical of the FBI, that identified serious problems impacting the FISA process: FBI Oversight in the 107th Congress by the Senate Judiciary Committee: FISA Implementation Failures – An Interim Report.
Senators Release Committee Report on FISA Implementation Failures and Introduce Sunshine Bill – Press release from Senator Leahy about the bipartisan report. See also the Sectional Analysis of the Domestic Surveillance Oversight Act of 2003.

In response to the issues raised as a result of their investigation, Senators Leahy and Grassley announced the introduction of the Domestic Surveillance Oversight Act of 2003 (PDF), or the FISA Sunshine Bill (S. 436). The bill is an effort to balance national security issues with civil liberties, and one element would require that: “Surveillance on public and university libraries pursuant to administrative subpoenas, or ‘National Security Letters,’ issued under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) be reported to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.”
The official DOJ response to the report is here.

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