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Author Topic: FISA Surveillance Case  (Read 678 times)


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FISA Surveillance Case
« on: November 10, 2012, 07:47:44 PM »
Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Surveillance Standing Case
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments October 29 in Clapper v.
Amnesty International, a case challenging the interception of
communications of US persons under foreign intelligence surveillance
laws. A federal appeals court previously ruled in favor of a group of
plaintiffs, including human rights advocates, journalists and attorneys,
and held that the financial and logistical costs they incurred in order
to avoid government surveillance were sufficient to establish standing
under the Constitution. US Solicitor General Donald Verilli, arguing on
behalf of the United States and the Director of National Intelligence,
claimed that plaintiffs could not establish a sufficiently concrete
injury because they did not know if they had been subject to

The surveillance in question is authorized under the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008, which allows the
federal government to conduct mass surveillance of communications,
including communications of American citizens, without a warrant or
particularized suspicion. Attorneys for Amnesty International argued
that such sweeping governmental surveillance is contrary to established
Fourth Amendment principles and threatens the privacy of all Americans,
particularly those engaged in international communications.

In September 2012, EPIC, joined by 32 legal scholars and technical
experts and six privacy and open government organizations, filed a
"friend of the court" brief in the case, arguing that the plaintiffs'
concerns were well-founded considering the NSA's surveillance
capabilities and the US government's failure to establish sufficient
public reporting requirements for lawful surveillance.

In May 2012, EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008. EPIC
Executive Director Marc Rotenberg made a number of recommendations to
the Committee, including requiring public dissemination of a Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act report, similar to the reports released
for other forms of electronic surveillance,  and implementation of a
publication procedure for important decisions of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court.

US Supreme Court:  Oral Argument Transcript in Clapper  (Oct. 29, 2012)

Second Circuit Court:  Decision in Clapper (Mar. 21, 2011)

EPIC et al.: "Friend of the Court" Brief in Clapper (Sept. 24, 2012)

EPIC:  Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l USA

DNI James R. Clapper, Jr.:  Brief in Clapper v. Amnesty (July 2012)             

Amnesty International et al.:  Brief in Clapper (Aug. 2012)

EPIC:  Testimony Before US House re: FISA Amendments (May 31, 2012)

EPIC:  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)