EFF Victory Results In Release Of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Opinion Finding NSA Surveillance UnConstitutional


In response to EFF’s FOIA lawsuit, the government has released the 2011 FISA court opinion ruling some NSA surveillance unConstitutional.

For almost two years, EFF has been fighting the government in Federal court to force the public release of an 86-page opinion of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Issued in October 2011, the secret court’s opinion found that surveillance conducted by the NSA under the FISA Amendments Act was unConstitutional and violated “the spirit of” Federal law.

Today, EFF can declare victory: a Federal court ordered the government to release records in our litigation, the government has indicated it intends to release the opinion today, and ODNI called a  press conference to discuss “issues” with FISA Amendments Act surveillance, including a discussion of the opinion.

It remains to be seen how much of the opinion the government will actually make available to the public. President Obama has repeatedly said he welcomes a debate on the NSA’s surveillance: disclosing this opinion—and releasing enough of it so that citizens and advocates can intelligently debate the Constitutional violation that occurred—is a critical step in ensuring that an informed debate takes place.

Here are examples of documents previously released by the administration in response to our Freedom of Information Act request. Anything even resembling those “releases” would be utterly unacceptable today. But we’ve come a long way since then, it took filing a lawsuit; litigating (and winning) in the FISC itself; the unprecedented public release of information about NSA surveillance activities; and our continuing efforts to push the government in the district court for release of the opinion.

Release of the opinion today is just one step in advancing a public debate on the scope and legality of the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs. EFF will keep fighting until the NSA’s domestic surveillance program is reined in, Federal surveillance laws are amended to prevent these kinds of abuse from happening in the future, and government officials are held accountable for their actions.

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Electronic Frontier Foundation

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights. https://www.eff.org/

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  • alitttlebird

    “Most Transparent Administration” My Ass. Clown Obama is the Worst POSident in American History.

    • ‘Barbara Messmer

      You quite obviously didn’t read the complete post of rb’s.

  • rb

    I would say this administration is the most transparent ever. It’s easy to see through all the bull right down to the fascist core. It’s amazing how blatantly this administration flaunts its contempt and disregard for both the American people and our Constitution. It’s even more amazing that so many still support these antics and have not held either the President or our Congress accountable for the atrocities commited. It’s only a train ride right herr Obama. Just a train ride to the showers.

    • jag

      And all the FREE Kool-aid has tamed the masses, by the time Americans wake up? Yep, too late, america has raised a bunch of sissies that WONT OR CANT TAKE anything back! Has anybody noticed that everytime the u.s. gov.does anything its a fnn! Disaster!! And then they play the blame game, but no balls anywhere to oust the basterds! Washington Cowards!

  • Warrior

    Of course, when all else fails let’s have a “public dialogue”. :LMAO!

  • peter

    Government officials are held responsible for their actions???????????? Lets see how that pans out. No way Jose’……….Name any government official that has any respect for the law! When Holder is in charge, what exactly can one expect?They are untouchable and their followers are the one’s to blame for that. See a change coming anyone or will it just be more of the same? The rut we are in is getting deeper and deeper every day and we seem to be happy with that. The concerned are far outnumbered by the apathetic and that is very worrying.