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Essentially, the court re-defined the word “relevant” to mean “anything and everything.” Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall explained two years ago on the Senate floor that Americans would be shocked if they knew how the government was interpreting the Patriot Act. This is exactly what they were talking about.

It’s likely the precedent laid down in the last few years will stay law for years to come if the courts are not reformed. FISA judges are appointed by one unelected official who holds lifetime office: the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Under current law, for the coming decades, Chief Justice John Roberts will solely decide who will write the sweeping surveillance opinions few will be allowed to read, but which everyone will be subject to. []...

Under the FISA Amendments Act, "the court is now approving programmatic surveillance. I don't think that is a judicial function.” He continued, "Anyone who has been a judge will tell you a judge needs to hear both sides of a case…This process needs an adversary."

Reform the FISA Court:| EFF

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