Dee Benson, former FISA Court Judge

Photo credit: Leah Hogsten, Salt Lake Tribune

Photo credit: Leah Hogsten, Salt Lake Tribune

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Air date: Dec. 25, 2013) – Dee Benson, a U.S. Federal District Court judge for the District of Utah, served from 2004 to 2011 on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).  This is the same secret court that is now under scrutiny for having empowered the NSA to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing terrorism suspects, or people involved with foreign threats such as nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyber attacks.  Bensons’ talk came after a summer of revelations this year about U.S. government intelligence gathering, leaked from former NSA defense contractor Edward Snowden.  Federal lawmakers and even President Obama himself are now signaling that the FISA Court may need to be reformed.  Benson argues that the court is sound, and that despite statistics showing the court approves 99 percent of warrant applications it receives, it is not a “rubber stamp” for the NSA.  This Hinckley Institute Radio Hour was recorded live with an audience of students, faculty, and citizens at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, on September 26th, 2013.

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