NSA may face court challenge to warrantless wiretapping
It may have taken nearly three years to bring the 2008 version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to the courts for judicial review, but now one case is set to move forward thanks to a ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. On September 21, the plaintiffs—the Global Fund for Women, The Nation magazine, Global Rights, International Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, PEN American Center, Human Rights Watch, Service Employees International Union, and others—backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), were granted standing to sue the government for the surveillance measures under FISA in the case Amnesty International USA et al. v. James Clapper Jr. et al.
The Second Circuit Court came to a divided decision of 6-6 that gave the case standing. Judge Gerard E. Lynch said, "To reject the plaintiffs’ arguments not because they lack merit, but because we refuse to hear them, runs a much graver risk than whatever invasion of plaintiffs’ privacy might be occasioned by the surveillance authorized by the challenged statute."
The suit argues that provisions of FISA that allow for wiretapping of overseas communications without obtaining a warrant violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unwarranted searches and seizures. ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said, "The government’s surveillance practices should not be immune from judicial review."
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs