Civil Liberties: I have always tended to be an advocate of "playing your position". But there are times when one's position involves looking far afield. These days, on what surveillance and information-collection mechanism are doing to our society. Here we have Marcy Wheeler saying "I told you so" about how the FBI's use of FISA for searches has long been unreasonable, and hence—if the fourth amendment has any meaning—unconstitutional:

Marcy Wheeler: How Twelve Years of Warning and Six Years of Plodding Reform Finally Forced FBI to Do Minimal FISA Oversight "A condemnation of how the government has been using 702 (and its predecessor PAA) for 12 years. A (partial—but thus far by far the most significant one) success of the new oversight mechanisms put in place post-Snowden. An opportunity to reform FISA—and FBI—more systematically.... 12 years after this system was first moved under FISA... we’re only now going to start getting real information.... We will learn (even more than we already learned from the two reported queries that this pertained to vetting informants) the degree to which back door searches serve not to find people who are implicated in national security crimes, but instead, people who might be coerced to help the FBI find people who are involved in national security crimes. We will learn that the oversight has been inadequate. We will finally be able to measure disproportionate impact on Chinese-American, Arab, Iranian, South Asian, and Muslim communities. DOJ will be forced to give far more defendants 702 notice. Irrespective of whether back door searches are themselves a Fourth Amendment violation (which we will only now obtain the data to discuss), the other thing this opinion shows is that for twelve years, FISA boosters have been dismissing the concerns those of us who follow closely have raised (and there are multiple other topics not addressed here). And now, after more than a decade, after a big fight from FBI, we’re finally beginning to put the measures in place to show that those concerns were merited all along...

#noted #2019-12-10