(PHOTO: Star Chamber Secret Court. These British Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments and no witnesses. It evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy. The Star Chamber was considered a primary motivating force behind the protections against compelled self-incrimination embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. The meaning of "compelled testimony" under the Fifth Amendment is thus often interpreted via reference to the inquisitorial methods of the Star Chamber. The contemporary US equivalent of the British Star Chamber is the secret FISA court.)
(July 23, 2013) On Friday, the Obama administration announced that it had soughtâand the secret FISA court had grantedâa renewed authorization for the NSA spying program that compels US telecommunications companies to turn over their telephone records in bulk.
"Consistent with his prior declassification decision and in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program, the DNI [Director of National Intelligence] has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that the Government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the Court renewed that authority," the Obama administration press release stated.