Naw, it wasn't WSJ. Want to say either New Yorker or nytimes, I'll try and dig around for it tomorrow. This is gonna drive me crazy. The gist of it, though, doesn't really run counter to what you're saying, and what I said before. FISA either approves, rejects or specifies what's wrong with the request. I'm aware that it's non-adversarial. Argument that's been used before can be chalked up to: we're requesting surveillance of suspect. It would be pointless to request this surveillance if we allowed subject access to our request. Now. In event of FISA appeals to bulk collection: I dunno. That's a lot sketchier, and if it's allowed via current legislative phrasing, it needs to be addressed, which this new proposal does. At any rate, It's really hard to extrapolate the data when we have limited access to the content, but it'd be interesting to see what FISA was rejecting or requiring mods to.
Either way, the ultimate outcome of the above legislative proposal is the same. If FISA generally approved bulk collection before, then the new modifications would expressly forbid that sort of bulk approval, yeah? Govt would have to go to FISA for each individual instance. So regardless of how they ruled prior to this, new specifications would make the kind of work-arounds you're concerned about a lot harder.
I understand the skepticism, but I also recognize the necessity, however unpopular, to balance private interest with public security. I don't approve of the bulk data collection snafu that's come to light in the past year. But to reject any forward movement as insufficient and superficial seems pretty drastic.