Government Surveillance: finding the right balance for democracy

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Government Surveillance: Finding the Right Balance For Democracy Candidate’s Name Institution’s Name What is a FISA court and why might it run counter to a ‘free and open society’? The FISA Court is an American federal court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 1978 (FISA) with the duty to supervise surveillance orders applications made by national intelligence bureaus targeting foreign spies within the US. It has its seat in Washington D.C. comprising of 11 judges. The Court considers requests made by the government for sanctioning of electronic, physical, as well as other undercover surveillance for overseas intelligence aims (McFarland, 2012). The court works ex parte as stipulated by the establishing law to safeguard the confidential state security data. Democratic principles in the society such as in the US require that the people should enjoy free (individual privacy) and open (government transparency) living. Therefore, the government in conducting its affairs should be transparent, and the citizens should enjoy some level of privacy. However, this is not the case concerning the orders and operation of this court and the government. The authorities presently conduct massive spying on the citizens. The government asserts that the permission to spy is founded on the secret directives given by a secret court that construe the law secretively (Arizona Public Media, 2016). These orders are also founded on the covert information regarding likely security dangers. Whereas the security threats may be real, there exists no proof indicating that the people already spied have links to any specific scheme. At first, the court was secretive that

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