Skip to main content

Sen. Ron Wyden has been a voice crying in the wilderness about the over reach of the NSA data dragnet. This story appeared in the news media almost a year ago.

On “at least one occasion” the federal government violated the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches in using its power to wiretap people in the U.S. without a warrant, a federal court said.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s finding was disclosed without any details in a letter yesterday to Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon from a top aide to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Wyden is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a critic of the law permitting warrantless wiretaps.

The Obama administration created a process to consider declassifying FISA court opinions starting in 2010, after lawmakers called for greater transparency. On May 8, the Justice Department said in response to a public records request that no court rulings had been cleared for release.
And that is where the matter has stood up until recently. The government has adamantly refused to release any information about the FISA court order under the claim that all proceedings of the court are a state secret. Suddenly there has been a change in the wind.

The Surveillance State Suffers a Surprise Legal Setback

The Electronic Frontier Foundation scored a remarkable — and remarkably timely — legal victory on Wednesday. The secret court at the center of the recent NSA surveillance revelations allowed the group's push for the release of a ruling on violations of Americans' Fourth Amendment rights to move forward.
In a phone interview with The Atlantic Wire, EFF staff attorney Mark Rumold explained what comes next.

"Now we go back to the regular district court in D.C., and we reopen the FOIA case, and we move forward," he said. "In their earlier arguments, [Justice] claimed that the only thing requiring them to withhold the opinion as a whole was the FISC's rules." Since the Freedom of Information Act requires the release of any information that can be segregated from classified data, Rumold said, "I think at this point they're going to have to release parts of the opinion."

This is a complicated game of legal cat and mouse. It doesn't require a conspiracy theory to speculate that the recent spotlight shined on the activities of the NSA might have had something to do with this change in the wind. The government has repeatedly claimed that everything is being done in a manner that is legal under current law. By denying standing to Human Rights Watch SCOTUS has blocked attempts to initiate a court review of the constitutional issues involved.

The case that is referenced in this FISA opinion seems likely to be one that would hold the magic key to standing, a party that has been directly subject to a 4th amendment violation. That would explain why the DOJ has gone to such pains to keep the information secret.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

bink, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Mimikatz, chrississippi, Garrett, Liberal Thinking, Gooserock, greenbird, Shockwave, cotterperson, gjohnsit, hnichols, hubcap, Heart of the Rockies, PBCliberal, Great Cthulhu, Justina, sponson, whenwego, ask, bruh1, antirove, dksbook, psnyder, hangingchad, mrkvica, pat bunny, bula, TiaRachel, yet another liberal, dkmich, ybruti, side pocket, randallt, Emmy, solesse413, xxdr zombiexx, Sassy, averageyoungman, Skennet Boch, 3goldens, greycat, freakofsociety, caul, ek hornbeck, corvo, DocGonzo, citizenx, dewtx, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, eru, Beetwasher, Burned, lotlizard, Ozymandius, jeff in nyc, Carnivorous Plantling, Sandino, Savvy813, Ginny in CO, MindRayge, Rogneid, peacestpete, Indiana Bob, Land of Enchantment, Jim P, SoulCatcher, martini, detroitmechworks, myboo, Kingsmeg, BlueInARedState, HoundDog, koNko, AoT, KenBee, blueoasis, triv33, praenomen, Rosaura, sceptical observer, Turbonerd, onionjim, CA Nana, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, kurt, bstotts, markthshark, Aaa T Tudeattack, One Pissed Off Liberal, asilomar, SpecialKinFlag, devis1, psychodrew, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, noofsh, Matt Z, sfbob, eOz, Kentucky Kid, bobswern, JML9999, JDWolverton, CroneWit, also mom of 5, wayoutinthestix, Johnny Nucleo, Involuntary Exile, elwior, Buckeye Nut Schell, jamess, Lujane, MrJayTee, petulans, Notreadytobenice, shigeru, Troubadour, BYw, watercarrier4diogenes, ZhenRen, GustavMahler, maggiejean, CanyonWren, shopkeeper, TheOpinionGuy, kevinpdx, nancat357, Just Bob, FogCityJohn, eXtina, serendipityisabitch, politik, The Free Agent, CS11, TealTerror, ATFILLINOIS, Nurse Jeckell, gulfgal98, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, DerAmi, Publius2008, MsGrin, Floande, Nada Lemming, Oh Mary Oh, Onomastic, afisher, stone clearing, EquityRoy, smiley7, merrily1000, tardis10, MRA NY, toby esterhase, randomfacts, bakeneko, dradams, DRo, SouthernLiberalinMD, No one gets out alive, paulbkk, BlueDragon, greenbastard, MsLillian, Joieau, Horace Boothroyd III, hotheadCA, radical simplicity, lunachickie, ottoveil, Chaddiwicker, TheMeansAreTheEnd, Lurker in the Dark, JayRaye, weck, gypsytoo, alice kleeman, Icicle68, Mannie, Smoh, rigcath, pragmaticidealist, WFBMM, Stentorian Tone, OldSoldier99, deep info

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site