FISA upholds NSA phone data collection again

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court released a new legal opinion on Friday that reauthorized the once-secret National Security Agency program that keeps records of every American’s phone calls. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/us/nsa-plan-to-log-calls-is-renewed-by-court.html?ref=us
In the six-page opinion, which was signed on Oct. 11, Judge Mary A. McLaughlin said she was personally approving for the first time the extension of the call log metadata program, which must be approved every 90 days.
Judge Eagan’s former opinion, which was made public last month, held that the N.S.A. could lawfully collect the bulk data about all Americans’ calls without warrants, in part because of a 1979 case, Smith v. Maryland. In that matter, the Supreme Court held that call records were not protected by the Fourth Amendment because suspects had exposed that metadata to their phone companies and had no reasonable expectation of privacy.
She endorsed a lengthy legal opinion written by a colleague, Judge Claire V. Eagan, who was the previous judge to approve extending it.
Judge Eagan’s opinion has been criticized, in part, because she made no mention of a landmark privacy case decided by the Supreme Court in 2012. That case, United States v. Jones, held that it was unconstitutional for the police to use a G.P.S. tracking device to monitor a suspect’s movements without a warrant.
Brett Max Kaufman, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, criticized Judge McLaughlin for distinguishing aggregated location tracking from aggregated call records, saying that both types of data “reveal intimate details of our lives” and that the Fourth Amendment should be interpreted as protecting “against all unreasonable intrusions into Americans’ privacy, however they are accomplished.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: