King County should not be appropriating bids for unconstitutional FISA surveillance

As the mission of the FISA Court falls apart due to political corruption and malfeasance, local appropriations are given budgets to continue mass surveillance ruled unconstitutional

Guest post by Sheila Dean of Kirkland, WA

Obama Democrats and Bush Republicans had a few things in common. Specifically, an overcommitment to unconstitutional mass surveillance laws: FISA and the PATRIOT Act. Both laws were linked to controversial public bids for mass surveillance that have violated U.S. citizens’ civil liberties and have been found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. King County municipalities and WA State bureau administrators appear to be sleepily delaying recognition of this important information.

Washington State accepts federal funds for FISA telecommunications surveillance projects based on the prior mandates. They are not turning away federal means to sustain unconstitutional mass surveillance voted through 11th hour CROmnibus bills in 2019.

The FISA Court (FISC), the clandestine court who issued flawed FBI surveillance orders, recently fell prey to the FBI’s corruption as found in the Horowitz report. Abuse of the citizen was inevitable and corruption was the fruit found on the ground. Now there is talk of abolishing FISC. This week an Obama national security attorney and “friend of the court” David Kris was appointed as special adviser and investigator of FISA malfeasance. This appointment signals an institutional will to preserve the FISC’s mission: rubber stamp surveillance of Americans. The U.S. Congress and the FBI seem to be on separate pages as legislation is being considered to defund mass surveillance, end law enforcement waivers, and end commercial immunities as FISA sunsets.

It is time to contact our state’s Expenditure Limit Committee to let them know they cannot allocate state public resources or accept federal funds for unconstitutional projects, no matter how big the federal purse is. It is time for partisans to stop endorsing the damages of FISA-led surveillance with votes, court compliance, and public appropriations.

Sheila Dean is an author and privacy consultant based in Washington state. She is a thought leader and policy maker on privacy and identity, and regularly promotes privacy policy protections. Her online series Privacy Is a Spider is for people who want to adopt an individual privacy plan to reclaim their personal data. You can learn more at


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