FISA Applications Dipped Again in 2009

For the second consecutive year, Justice Department applications to search or eavesdrop on suspected terrorists and spies dipped significantly, according to department figures provided to Congress.

The Justice Department sent 1,376 applications — for physical searches, electronic surveillance or some combination of the two — to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2009. That’s a 34 percent drop from 2008, during which the department made 2,082 applications, according to last year’s report to Congress.

In 2009, the spy court granted all but nine applications, and eight out of those nine were withdrawn voluntarily by the government. The court modified another 14 applications.

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