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Abstract

As intelligence agencies like the NSA increase their surveillance activities on law-abiding citizens, the need for protection of privacy rights becomes apparent. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was designed to protect this fundamental right, but due to changes in the law and to the structure of the court, the court’s role as a watchdog has been weakened. This Comment provides an overview of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that have tempered the court’s role, including the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 (Freedom Act), and discusses the need for reform of the FISC due to the unwieldy nature of surveillance agencies. Ultimately, this Comment identifies structural changes that could restore the court to the protector of privacy rights that it was initially intended to be.

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