The Fine Line between Security and Liberty: The "Secret" Court Struggle to Determine the Path of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance in the Wake of September 11th

Jessica M. Bungard
2004 Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law and Policy  
The structure of the United States federal court system can be considered common knowledge: the Supreme Court sits atop a pyramid of lower circuit courts and trial courts, all of which are, for the most part, open to the public. Until 2002, most Americans were unaware of the existence of a "secret" court whose sole duty is to review and approve applications authorizing foreign intelligence surveillance conducted by the Executive Branch. The year 2002 was an unprecedented year for the Foreign
more » ... elligence Surveillance Court ("FISC"),3 and the statute that created it, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 ("FISA").4 For the first time in FISA's twenty-three year history, FISC denied an application for electronic surveillance and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review ("Court of Review") was convened to hear its first appeal.5
doi:10.5195/tlp.2004.9 fatcat:2qmum3c7qbfuzamvv4diyzezme