Breaking News

Secret Court Opinion Warning DOJ of Unconstitutional NSA Surveillance Isn’t Protected by Secret Court Rules
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

On Wednesday, in a public ruling quite foreign to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the court’s chief judge Reggie Walton rejected arguments made by the DOJ for continuing to keep under wraps an FISC opinion, which held some NSA surveillance as unconstitutional.

While the DOJ argued that the 86-page opinion of the secret court, made in 2011, merited the same secrecy as court documents of the FISC, the secret court ruled otherwise.

According to the FISC, its opinion warning the DOJ of unconstitutional surveillance by NSA was now in the possession of the Department of Justice, and therefore subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.

  
What
Where


In the seven-page opinion, FISC chief judge Reggie Walton held that the FISC rule for keeping FISC opinions sealed does not apply to the opinion, which had not been otherwise barred from disclosure and was already in the government’s possession.

The FISC indicated that the ball was no more in its court and referred the matter to the federal court, where the lawsuit was originally filed, for deciding whether the document was eligible for release under the Freedom of Information Act, and to what extent.

The FISC court observed “This court expresses no opinion on the other issues presented … including whether the opinion is ultimately subject to disclosure.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




The original lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act was filed in a federal court by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) in 2012 for compelling disclosure of the FISC opinion. Though the Justice Department admitted that there was an 86-page opinion dated Oct. 3, 2011 that could be subject to the FOIA request, it argued that FISC documents were barred from public disclosure. To which, the FISC has now said that the document in question does not merit protection of ordinary FISC opinions.

The EEF brought the lawsuit after it learned of a letter sent in 2012 from an aide to James Clapper to Se. Ron Wyden, mentioning that at least on one occasion the FISC had held some collection of data under NSA surveillance programs as “unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.” The letter also stated that the concerns had been taken care of and FISC has continued to approve data collection activities.



Wyden, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is barred from providing further details as long as the documents are not legally declassified.



 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Mid-level Litigation Attorney with motions experience

USA-WA-Seattle

Seattle office of our client seeks mid-level litigation attorney with 3-5 years of experience, inclu...

Apply Now

Environmental /Land Use Attorney with 2-3 years of experience

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of our client seeks environmental /land use attorney with 2-3 years of experien...

Apply Now

Litigation Attorney with 2-5 years of insurance defense experience

USA-FL-Jacksonville

Jacksonville office of our client seeks litigation attorney with 2-5 years of previous insurance def...

Apply Now

Land Use, Zoning Attorney with 2-6 years of real estate experience

USA-NY-Fishkill

Fishkill office of our client seeks land use, zoning and development attorney with 2-6 years of comm...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Experienced Insurance Defense Attorney Needed

USA-NY-Bohemia

Insurance Defense firm (with 15 attorneys in Suffolk and Mineola location), seeks attorneys with 5+ ...

Apply now

Corporate / Commercial Attorney | Lebanon, NH

USA-NH-Lebanon

Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC seeks an experienced corporate / commercial attorney to join its Lebanon o...

Apply now

Business Law Junior Associate | Burlington, VT

USA-VT-Burlington

Downs Rachlin Martin seeks associate attorney with 1-3 years of experience to join its Commercial an...

Apply now

Business Law Associate | Burlington

USA-VT-Burlington

Downs Rachlin Martin is seeking an attorney with 4 to 8 years of experience to join its very busy pr...

Apply now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top