David Greene and Mark Jaycox write:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in ACLU v. Clapper has determined that the NSA’s telephone records program went far beyond what Congress authorized when it passed Section 215 of the Patriot Act in 2001. The court unequivocally rejected the government’s secret reinterpretation of Section 215. Among many important findings, the court found that Section 215’s authorization of the collection of business records that are “relevant to an authorized investigation” could not be read to include the dragnet collection of telephone records. The court also took issue with the fact that this strained application of the law was accomplished in secret and approved by the secret and one-sided Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court).
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