[JURIST] The number of surveillance and search warrants approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder] increased again in 2007 to a record 2,370 warrants, according to a report [PDF text] released Wednesday by the US Department of Justice. The 2007 figure was up nine percent from 2006, when the FISC approved 2,176 warrants [JURIST report]. The number of instruments issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [text; JURIST news archive] has been steadily increasing in recent years.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established by Congress in 1978 under FISA to review applications for warrants related to national security investigations and surveillance [JURIST news archive]. The court rarely publishes opinions, and due to the sensitive nature of the matters it hears, members are not permitted to discuss the business of the court. Wednesday's disclosure from the DOJ is part of the department's annual reporting requirement under FISA and the USA Patriot Act. AP has more.