702 surveillance legislation: Adding Wyden-Paul “USA Rights Act” to the mix. Bonus: a chart comparing differences with SSCI/Burr & Goodlatte/Conyers HJC bills

Today the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is marking up, in secret, Chairman Burr’s bill to extend the FISA Amendments Act Section 702 warrantless surveillance program, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act. While the bill is not yet public, I published a copy here yesterday, alongside a revised draft of the Goodlatte-Conyers House Judiciary Committee bill, […]

NSA Declassifies Pile of Documents from 2011 Upstream Surveillance Litigation

The National Security Agency has declassified a third (and final) tranche of previously unreleased documents from the docket of a then-secret 2011 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court case over upstream Internet surveillance conducted under the FISA Amendments Act/702 program. Here are the first and second tranches. This third tranche is long a dense – nearly 350 pages – but […]

Don’t cite the Prism v. Upstream collection numbers from Judge Bates’ 2011 FISC opinion anymore

Among surveillance legal policy specialists, it is common to cite a set of statistics from an October 2011 opinion by Judge John Bates, then of the FISA Court, about the volume of internet communications the National Security Agency was collecting under the FISA Amendments Act (“Section 702”) warrantless surveillance program. In his opinion, declassified in […]

Judge orders Trump admin to speed up a search for legal documents, if any, about legal basis, if any, for April airstrike against Syria

Yesterday, Federal District Court Judge Christopher Cooper issued an unusual 14-page ruling in a Freedom of Information Act case brought by Protect Democracy and a preliminary injunction ordering the government to expedite its processing of the matter. The lawsuit is seeking documents laying out the Trump administration’s legal rationale for the United States’ April 6 […]

What Has Changed in the New, “Definitive” Power Wars

[Cross-posted to Lawfare] Today, Hachette is publishing the paperback edition of my history of Obama-era national-security legal policymaking, Power Wars, which is also replacing the text future e-book buyers will receive. I have systematically updated and revised the book since its hardcover publication in November 2015. A few months ago, over coffee in Cambridge, Jack […]

Here’s a previously top secret 2005 Bush Justice Department memo on Stellarwind surveillance and prosecutors’ discovery obligations

In response to one of the Freedom of Information Act lawsuits I am fighting with The New York Times’ lawyer David McCraw and our annual First Amendment Fellow, Ian MacDougal, the government has turned over a May 2005 memorandum by Patrick Rowan, who was then a top national-security prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. […]