“The Problems with FISA, Secrecy, and Automatically Classified Information”
David Ruiz, Deeplinks, Electronic Frontier Foundation, February 26, 2018
The gist: The key question raised in the Nunes and Schiff memos is whether the evidence supporting the Federal Bureau of Investigation's applications for a surveillance order against a prominent Republican, formerly an advisor to the President, consisted entirely of biased information funded by political opponents of the President. But neither side knows the answer to that question, because it's classified, and no member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence could provide the answer in public even if they did know it, for the same reason. The general public will never have enough evidence to answer this question or even to form a reliable opinion about it. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will never have even enough information to carry out their duty to oversee the implementation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The optimists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation believe that it will someday be possible to repeal the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and to restore a measure of transparency to the operations of the government's counterterrorism agencies. My own view is that those agencies are above the law and permanently out of its reach.