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Snowden: Hollywood Highlights 2 Persistent Privacy Threats
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User Rank: Ninja
9/24/2016 | 10:18:29 AM
Secret law
Technically, there is no such thing, but in Common Law jurisdictions like the USA, judicial precedents have something akin to the force of law, so they must be taken into consideration.  I think there are some things Congress can do to help matters:

1.  Strip FISC of its status as a court of record (meaning that its decisions could not be cited as precedent).  This would mean that FISC decisions would be guided entirely by publicly available statute law and appellate court rulings, not by its own precedents.

2.  Abolish the appellate court established by FISA (which has AFAIK, has only considered a handful of cases since it was established in 1979) and transfer appellate jurisdiction over FISC to the Federal Circuit, which would publish digests of its opinions dealing with cases appealed from FISC in the manner suggested in the article (opinions would be completely declassified when secrecy is no longer required; perhaps after 10 years by default, with the President having authority to extend the period up to five years at a time for a given case).  Cases could be further appealed to the Supreme Court in the usual manner.

A third item could probably only be done by order of the President, but I think it would help enormously:

3.  Make all legal opinions issued by the Justice Department for the general guidance of federal employees public record.  Advice on specific cases would continue to be confidential.  This would help to allay the suspicion that the Federal government is operating on the basis of secret rules, rather than publicly available statute and judicial precedents.

A fourth item could probably be done by act of Congress:

4.  Require any settlements of civil cases in which the US government or its civil officers (in their official capacities) are defendants to be made public record.  This would eliminate a category of "secret law" in the form of confidential consent decrees, which are sometimes alleged to govern federal policy in a number of areas, such as environmental protection.  Settlements of cases in which the federal government is the plaintiff and one or more private citizens are defendants could be partly or completely sealed by a court if it decides that such is necessary to protect privacy.

I suspect that others have other ideas.
User Rank: Apprentice
9/23/2016 | 11:14:50 AM
A good read on Snowden case !
I hope this film will be providing a real opportunity for Snwoden to be pardoned and more comprehension of what he has done !

Anyway, this article is a good point to explain that we can't sacrifce our own privacy in the name of whatever reason !. In addition, I think this kind of intelligence practice will very likely continue to exist...
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