Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

The Government Is Using Foreign Intelligence Spying Powers to More Easily Wiretap U.S. Citizens in Regular Criminal Investigations


A fraud prosecution case that is currently underway highlights a disturbing trend that involves the government abusing its flexible surveillance powers – which were provided in order to capture foreign spies in the U.S. – to wiretap regular citizens as part of regular criminal prosecutions – often for fraud – that have nothing to do with national security or foreign intelligence.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

More than 40 years ago, Congress provided these surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows the government to request to wiretap individuals from a special court without first having to establish probable cause, a requirement for wiretapping in all other criminal investigation contexts. Congress presumably assumed that these relaxed standards were necessary for issues related to national security, which sometimes involve time-sensitive, dangerous contexts.

Fourth Amendment & Privacy Concerns

However, the government is now, instead, relying on FISA to deploy intrusive surveillance techniques in the absence of any link to foreign intelligence issues, which implicates the Fourth Amendment and privacy rights of countless Americans who have never even been suspected of committing any crimes.

Due Process Concerns

Yet what is perhaps worse, those charged under FISA are also unable to learn anything that would help them challenge this controversial surveillance, facing tremendous hurdles in exercising their due process rights and holding the government accountable. While criminal defendants normally have the right to review the government’s application to wiretap them in order to challenge any omissions or errors as part of their due process rights, when it comes to FISA, even in regular criminal prosecutions, this is not the case. In fact, in the 40 years that FISA has been around, no defendant has ever been able to review a government’s FISA application.

The Department of Justice Inspector General recently put together a report on FISA abuses which demonstrates why this is a problem. The report examines the number of mistakes and omissions just in the FISA applications to surveil a former Trump campaign advisor. In addition, in 2000, the government itself confessed to omissions and misstatements of material facts involved in 75 surveillance applications it submitted to the FISA court, all involving people targeted for surveillance.

If You Are Charged with A Crime, You Want to Work with The Very Best in Legal Representation

Courts must provide defendants with access to any and all materials that are consistent with their due process rights. If you have been charged with a federal or state crime, contact our Orlando criminal lawyers at the Baez Law Firm to schedule a free case consultation. We are experienced in a wide range of practice areas, and have received national recognition for our superior legal services.







  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab