The FISA court is supposed to be a check on the FBI. Some check. From James Bovard at nypost.com:
Like the casino gambling scene in “Casablanca,” the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court is “shocked, shocked” that the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to ravage the privacy of vast numbers of Americans.
For each American the FISA court permitted the FBI to target, the bureau illicitly surveilled almost 1,000 additional Americans.
The court’s just-revealed ruling signals the FBI presumed any American suspected of supporting the Jan. 6, 2021, protests forfeited their constitutional rights.
FISA was enacted in 1978 to curb the rampant illegal political spying exposed during the Nixon administration.
After the 9/11 attacks, the George W. Bush administration decided the president was entitled to order the National Security Agency to vacuum up Americans’ and foreigners’ emails and other data without a warrant.
Federal judges disagreed, and the result was a 2008 FISA reform that authorized the feds to continue commandeering vast amounts of data.
But under Section 702 of that law, the FBI was permitted to conduct warrantless searches of that stash for Americans’ data only to seek foreign intelligence information or evidence of crime.