If you think the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and everything about it is confusing, trust us, you are not alone! From “minimization” procedures, to “abouts” collection, “backdoor” searches, “upstream” surveillance, and everything in between, the jargon is utterly confounding. The process, however, seems to be even more complicated. Throw in a shadowy federal court with secret interpretations of the law and you have an esoteric morass of law and policy that is impenetrable to the general public. This is bad, not the least of which because the more inscrutable a topic the less likely we are to pay attention, and if we don’t pay attention we might pay the price. Case in point, the federal government recently declassified files that show the FBI’s procedures related to Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, one of the more controversial parts of the law, violated both the section itself and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Turns out that even the FBI is confused about the purposes and limitations of FISA, or perhaps some agents just don’t care. Either way, these practices resulted in (here it comes, ready?) tens of thousands of searches of Americans’ information in violation of the law. Ouch. Keep paying attention, lest we all pay the price.