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The Champion

November 2016 , Page 22 

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Attacking the Use of Physical Evidence Seized Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

By Elizabeth Little and Kelly C. Quinn


The U.S. government is actively spying on its citizens. This is not a recent development. Prior to the enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), presidents claimed a nearly unconstrained executive power to surveille in defense of the nation.1 When Congress enacted FISA in 1978, the intent was to set forth strict procedures and restrictions on government surveillance conducted for foreign intelligence purposes.2 Ironically, despite the intended purpose of limiting government power, the government has recently used FISA, subsequent amendments in the Patriot Act,3, and the 2008 FISA Amendments Act (FAA)4 to conduct massive surveillance programs.5 Government surveillance programs such as Prism and Upstream have resulted in the large-scale interception of the public’s communications without probable cause or individualized judicial approval of the government’s surveillance targets.6 For better or worse, members of the general public seem oddly ambivalent

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