“It is transparent,” Obama told PBS’s Charlie Rose in an interview to be broadcast Monday. “That’s why we set up the FISA court,” he added, referring to the secret court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorizes two recently disclosed programs: one that gathers U.S. phone records and another that is designed to track the use of U.S.-based Internet servers by foreigners with possible links to terrorism.
A secret court which no one knew about until last week – thanks to a whistleblower – is “transparent”
The location of FISA courts is secret. The sessions are closed. The orders that result from hearings in which only government lawyers are present are classified.
“We’re going to have to find ways where the public has an assurance that there are checks and balances in place … that their phone calls aren’t being listened into; their text messages aren’t being monitored, their emails are not being read by some big brother somewhere,” Obama said.
A good way to start would be to deport the entire federal government to North Korea, where they would feel more at home.