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Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)
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Author:  Voice of Reason [ Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:05 am ]
Post subject:  Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

The FISC is highly secretive and allowed the NSA to continue collecting electronic surveillance. The case (as of now) would abolish it. I'm not finding many negative arguments. It seems like it could be susceptible to a counter-plan, but let's say that teams switch it to reform so that there is more oversight, I don't see any defendable Negative stance (that wouldn't contradict the Constitution at least). Any ideas?

Author:  Alec The Thinker [ Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

What is the harm that the AFF claims?

Author:  Voice of Reason [ Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

Alec The Thinker wrote:
What is the harm that the AFF claims?

Most likely that justice can't happen in such an environment. It represses constitutional rights. It has basically become an arm of the executive branch, etc. etc.

Author:  Alec The Thinker [ Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

Do they claim that the approval rating of warrant requests is bad?

Author:  Caleb [ Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

I wrote the Cog briefset on this last year for the Stoa resolution. It was very interesting. There actually is some good academic stuff to defend FISC but it took some digging.

Quote:
I don't see any defendable Negative stance


A smattering of what I recall from the research:

-While FISC hasn't significantly blocked the NSA, they do 'steer' the NSA to mitigate problems. So they don't say "you can't do that" but they do say "if you're going to do that here's some steps to mitigate privacy loss".

-Claims that FISC is a rubber-stamp approval are based on the extremely high rate that they accept executive proposals. The response is that there's solid detailed dialogue on all steps of the process, so the executive knows what will or won't fly before they even officially go under FISC review, so they've already adjusted to the judicial demands.

-And a fun one. Basically claiming the executive is going to be doing this surveillance anyway, and if FISC was transparent and aggressive then the executive would totally ignore it. If FISC is secret and accepts a more minor role of mitigation they can at least have some positive impact.

While I'm not a fan of much of the NSA's practices, I see that as primarily an executive problem, and then a problem of congress and the Supreme Court to just let it all slide. FISC operates within a whole federal structure that prioritizes security way above privacy, and given that limitation there's at least a defensible case that it's doing the best it could do.

Author:  Seabass00 [ Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

Though it certainly isn't perfect I'd look up the USA Freedom Act which was recently past to create more transparency and accountability in the FISC and the NSA. Could be a decent Inherency point.

Also look back at history and what was happening that caused the FISC to be created (i.e. executive branch abusing it surveillance abilities to the extreme and being very secretive) then point out that an unchecked executive will be even worse today considering that surveillance is probably even more prevalent. The original "Church Committee" report to the senate on this abuse was very interesting.

Though I haven't done the research on a counter-plan yet it seems like it could be a legitimate approach. We need a strong check to executive surveillance powers and that may be best achieved through strengthening the FISC rather than abolishing it. Like I said I don't have any solid mandates to accomplish that yet but the evidence seems to suggest it could help/would be important/might work :) .

Author:  Hammy [ Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

So let me get this straight. In order to improve oversight we're getting rid of the secret court that is realistically the only body that oversees the CIA and NSA? Makes perfect sense.

Author:  lookingforangels [ Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

The solvency is questionable, as Hammy pointed out. Privacy violations starts and ends with the NSA and Patriot Act, and abolishing those would probably be too gutsy for a conservative NCFCA, so reforming the FISC to increase transparency and check its power is the most realistic option if you want to reduce the SQ harms.

What's the resolution again? :P

Author:  Hammy [ Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

lookingforangels wrote:

What's the resolution again? :P

Reform the Federal Court System, so I feel like abolishing the NSA is out of the question. :P

lookingforangels wrote:
so reforming the FISC to increase transparency and check its power is the most realistic option if you want to reduce the SQ harms.

And it's kind of hard to reform something that no one knows anything about.

Author:  Seabass00 [ Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

Hammy wrote:
lookingforangels wrote:
so reforming the FISC to increase transparency and check its power is the most realistic option if you want to reduce the SQ harms.

And it's kind of hard to reform something that no one knows anything about.


What he said.

And they kinda already tried to "increase transparency and check its power" (see the USA Freedom Act). Either it (the USA Freedom Act) will work and, in that case, there's no reason for change (good for negative inherency or significance arguments) OR it fails and proves just how hard it is to "reform" such a secretive system. Herein lies the stance to abolish FISC: simple reform doesn't work with a system we know little to nothing about.

Author:  lookingforangels [ Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

Seabass00 wrote:
Hammy wrote:
lookingforangels wrote:
so reforming the FISC to increase transparency and check its power is the most realistic option if you want to reduce the SQ harms.

And it's kind of hard to reform something that no one knows anything about.


What he said.

And they kinda already tried to "increase transparency and check its power" (see the USA Freedom Act). Either it (the USA Freedom Act) will work and, in that case, there's no reason for change (good for negative inherency or significance arguments) OR it fails and proves just how hard it is to "reform" such a secretive system. Herein lies the stance to abolish FISC: simple reform doesn't work with a system we know little to nothing about.

Just abolishing the FISC won't solve anything because it's not the root cause of the issue. With this resolution, I'm not sure how you can do anything with the court system that will improve transparency and NSA-sanctioned privacy violations. Those things will continue regardless. This isn't a good resolution for these particular harms.

Author:  Seabass00 [ Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolish/Reform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)

lookingforangels wrote:
Just abolishing the FISC won't solve anything because it's not the root cause of the issue. With this resolution, I'm not sure how you can do anything with the court system that will improve transparency and NSA-sanctioned privacy violations. Those things will continue regardless. This isn't a good resolution for these particular harms.

Exactly :D . Sorry for the confusion, I do not disagree with that (in fact it's kinda the whole negative position I've researched). I was only trying to get at the fact that the fact that a reform for "increased transparency and checks on its power" has already been attempted (see the USA Freedom Act) so either it works and the AFF plan is unnecessary or it fails and simply proves that small reforms will not work and more comprehensive change (which could be reform of surveillance as a whole) must take place!

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