[quote]Originally posted by THT:
Yes I agree. It always should be. I don't think the law enforcement agencies need more powers whatsoever, and they didn't need it to stop the Sept. 11 hijackings. As said before, I'm not out to nor do I believe that Americans need to give up their freedoms to be safer from terrorism. Americans do however should expect and require the gov't that is working for and paid by them to work better than as demonstrated.</strong><hr></blockquote>
The Moussaoui investigation faltered on the issue of probable cause. Going back in time, trying to approach this without all the information we've learned since, it is not at all clear to me that probable cause existed here. This investigation was governed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. (<a href="http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Terrorism_militias/fisa_faq.html
" target="_blank">Here's</a> a FISA FAQ.)
from the FAQ:
[quote]3. How does FISA fit with regulation of electronic surveillance?
Given the "tendency of those who execute the criminal laws... to obtain conviction by means of unlawful seizures," the Supreme Court has viewed commumications interception as an especially grave intrusion on rights of privacy and speech. Berger v. New York
, 388 U.S. 41, 50 (1967) (quotation and citation omitted). "By its very nature eavesdropping involves an intrusion on privacy that is broad in scope," and its "indiscriminate use... in law enforcement raises grave constitutional questions." Id. at 56 (quotation and citation omitted). "Few threats to liberty exist which are greater than those posed by the use of eavesdropping devices." Id. at 63.
Thus, the Court outlined seven constitutional requirements: (1) a showing of probable cause that a particular offense has been or is about to be committed; (2) the applicant must describe with particularity the conversations to be intercepted; (3) the surveillance must be for a specific, limited period of time in order to minimize the invasion of privacy (the N.Y. law authorized two months of surveillance at a time); (4) there must be continuing probable cause showings for the surveillance to continue beyond the original termination date; (5) the surveillance must end once the conversation sought is seized; (6) notice must be given unless there is an adequate showing of exigency; and (7) a return on the warrant is required so that the court may oversee and limit the use of the intercepted conversations.
Indeed, the Court said that if "neither a warrant nor a statute authorizing eavesdropping can be drawn so as to meet the Fourth Amendment's requirements... then the fruits' of eavesdropping devices are barred under the Amendment." Id., at 63.
Where intelligence operations are concerned, however, the bounds of the Fourth Amendment are less clear than they are for ordinary criminal investigations. FISA creates a special court and legal regime for counterintelligence surveillance orders...<hr></blockquote>
The next question in the FAQ deals with the special legal regime for "foreign intelligence" surveillance. (And under which, it would appear, the FBI could have proceeded to search Moussaoui's computer.) This was what seemed to pique Mr. Turley's interest the most.
[ 06-04-2002: Message edited by: spaceman_spiff ]</p>