• Support Legislative Oversight of Secret Courts

    The ACLU has set up a fax page for those who wish to contact their legislators regarding Oversight of the Secret FISA Court :

    Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (most commonly known as FISA), a secret intelligence court was created to authorize government wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations. Since its initial enactment, FISA has been steadily expanded in ways that pose an increasing threat to individual rights.

    Under FISA procedures, all hearings and decisions are conducted in secret. The Department of Justice has not disclosed even the most basic information about the court's activities despite repeated requests from Congress, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups.

    Furthermore, by skirting reports of illegal warrants and unlawful surveillance by the FISA court itself, the FISA Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court have failed to address several fundamental issues. It is critical that the Congress ensure our judicial system is lawful and proper by providing proper oversight of this secret court.

    A bipartisan group of Senators, including Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), have introduced legislation called the FISA Oversight Bill (S. 436) that would ensure our elected officials are able to provide appropriate oversight over the secret FISA court. This bill would not hinder law enforcement but instead would simply require the public accounting of basic information such as the number of Americans subjected to surveillance under FISA and the number of times that FISA information has been used for law enforcement purposes.

    I've sent my letter. Now it's your turn.

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