Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DOJ Requests Supreme Court to Dismiss FISA Challenge

Today, the Department of Justice filed a petition requesting the Supreme Court to overturn an appellate court ruling that allowed a lawsuit filed by the ACLU that challenges the constitutionality of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act to go forward. The FISA Amendments Act, signed into law in 2008 allows unprecedented surveillance of Americans’ international communications with none of the safeguards that the Constitution requires. Little is known about how the Act has been used. In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the government revealed that every six-month review of the Act had identified “compliance incidents,” suggesting either an inability or an unwillingness to properly safeguard Americans’ privacy rights. The government has withheld the details of those “compliance incidents,” however, including statistics relating to abuses of the Act. The Act is scheduled to sunset in December 2012, and the ACLU is calling for amendments that would prohibit dragnet surveillance, require the government to be more transparent about how the law is being used, and place stronger restrictions on the retention and dissemination of information that is collected. Full story here.

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