Researched by Leora Johnson and Elizabeth Vortman
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge denied a motion from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seeking to bring a measure of transparency to the court’s legal review of the Bush administration’s new spying law. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 not only legalizes the secret warrantless surveillance program the president approved in late 2001, it gives the government new spying powers, including the power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international communications. The ACLU argues that the new spying law violates Americans’ rights to free speech and privacy under the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. The new law permits the government to conduct intrusive surveillance without ever telling a court who it intends to spy on, what phone lines and email addresses it intends to monitor, where its surveillance targets are located, why it’s conducting the surveillance or whether it suspects any party to the communication of wrongdoing.
“ACLU Sues Over Unconstitutional Dragnet Wiretapping Law” ACLU.org, 7/10/2008
“FISA Court Denies Public Access To Spy Law Proceedings” ACLU.org, 7/29/2008