Microsoft, Facebook release stats to reassure users on NSA surveillance

Without exception all of the companies tied to the PRISM leak  maintained that they were only complying with orders made under  the FISA Amendments Act, which established certain limits placed  on a Bush-era warrantless surveillance following that scandal. Of  course, critics argue that such courts are hand-picked and merely  rubber-stamp requests that enable mass surveillance.  

One such critic, retired US District Judge Nancy Gertner, told a  panel discussion on constitutional privacy protection on Friday  that the selection process for federal judges serving on such  secret courts is extremely biased.  “It’s an anointment process.  It’s not a selection process. But you know, it’s not boat  rockers. So you have a [federal] bench which is way more  conservative than before. This is a subset of that. And it’s a  subset of that who are operating under privacy, confidentiality,  and national security. To suggest that there is meaningful review  it seems to me is an illusion,” says Gertner. 

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