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Harlan Institute » Justice Badge-Clapper v. Amnesty International (50 points)
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Should the FISC be made public?

November 4th, 2012

A controversial aspect in Clapper v. Amnesty International is if the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts should make their “secret courts” public. I think this is a horrible idea. If each company that is being wire tapped knows they are being wire tapped, ┬áthen they can easily hide any information they want hidden that the government might want or need to know. Making the “secret courts” public completely defeats the purpose of wire tapping. While the idea that “sunlight is…the best of disinfectants” works with other issues, when it comes to national defense and safety, there are some things that should be kept private. It also does not make a difference to me that the FISC issues warrants for information on foreign intelligence. Issuing a warrant is completely different than telling a company that they will, for certain, be watched for suspicious foreign activity.
Another controversial issue that arises from Clapper v. Amnesty International is if a democratic government has the right to keep a secret safe from its citizens. I believe it does, only if it is vital to national security. It would not be very wise, for instance, if the government had made information available to the public about the assassination of Osama bin Laden before he was assassinated. Covert operations should, and must, be kept secret until there is a time when it is safe for the citizens to know. The government has to keep certain things private from the citizens for the benefit and the security of the entire country.