Friday, September 13, 2019

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court Research Paper

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court - Research Paper Example This realization led to the Congress coming up with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, an Act, which would give the government an oversight of surveillance against foreigners (Chiarella & Newton, 1997). The Congress established the FISA Court in 1978 as a special court authorizing the Chief Justice to assign seven judges who would be responsible for reviewing any applications concerning investigations on foreign power agents or foreign powers who seemed to pose a threat towards national security. The judges would be drawn from various judicial circuits and a judge was allowed to serve for a seven-year non-renewable term. After the enacting of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (92 Stat. 1783), the government had realized the need to have mechanisms of obtaining judicial warrants before it started to gather any intelligence information involving foreign power’s agents or foreign powers based in the United States (Chiarella & Newton, 1997). Senator Teddy Kennedy introduced the bill to the house on 18 May 1977 and nine other senators supported him. These were James O. Eastland, Storm Thurmond, Gaylord Nelson, John L. McClellan, Charles Mathias, Daniel Inouye, Walter Huddleston, Jake Garn, and Birch Bayh. These resulted from questions about the legality of intelligence activities, which were being carried out in the country. Frank Church and Sam Ervin led two separate committees that wanted to establish the need of legalizing all activities of gathering foreign intelligence information. It had been reported that President Richard Nixon was using federal security agents to spy on activists and political groups and this violated the US constitutions’ Fourth Amendment. FISA was signed into law by the then president Jimmy Carter (Chiarella & Newton, 1997). The Act was created for the purpose of supervising the way the government used its surveillance facilities to spy on foreigners but at  the same time, protect the secrecy of the intelligence agents.  

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