Pete Ashdown, CEO of an internet service provider in Utah, received a Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) warrant in 2010 mandating he let the feds monitor one of his customers: The first thing I do when I get a law enforcement request is look for a court signature on it. Then I pass it to my attorneys and say, “Is this legitimate? Does this qualify as a warrant?” If it does, then we will respond to it. We are very up front that we respond to warrants.
If it isn’t, then the attorneys write back: “We don’t believe it is in jurisdiction or is constitutional. We are happy to respond if you do get an FBI request in jurisdiction or you get a court order to do so.”
The FISA request was a tricky one, because it was a warrant through the FISA court — whether you believe that is legitimate or not. I have a hard time with secret courts. I ran it past my attorney and asked, “Is there anyway we can fight this?” and he said “No. It is legitimate.”
It was also different [from other warrants] because it was for monitoring. They wanted to come in and put in equipment on my network to monitor a single customer. The customer they were monitoring was a particular website that was very benign. It seems ridiculous to me. It was beyond absurd. It wasn’t like a guns and ammo website. [Continue reading…]