Spencer Ackerman reports:
No telecommunications company has ever challenged the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court’s orders for bulk phone records under the Patriot Act, the court revealed on Tuesday.
The secretive Fisa (sic) court’s disclosure came inside a declassification of its legal reasoning justifying the National Security Agency’s ongoing bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
Read more on The Guardian.
In related coverage, the ACLU issued this statement:
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court today released an opinion explaining its order authorizing the NSA program that collects data on every phone call made in the United States. American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer had this reaction:
“As a defense of the NSA’s mass collection of call records, the opinion issued today is completely unpersuasive. Its Fourth Amendment analysis fails even to mention the landmark privacy case decided by the Supreme Court last year, U.S. v. Jones. On the whole, the opinion only confirms the folly of entrusting Americans’ privacy rights to a court that meets in secret and hears argument only from the government.
“This isn’t a judicial opinion in the conventional sense, it’s a document that was cobbled together over the last few weeks to justify a secret decision that was made seven years ago. The court should release the original authorization of the NSA phone spying program.”