Obama Administration: No SCOTUS Challenges To NSA Spying Allowed, Because We Said So


In July, the Electronic Privacy Information Center responded to whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s leaks by petitioning the Supreme Court to vacate the order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court requiring communications providers to turn over telephone records to the National Security Agency. The Administration of Barack Obama has now responded to the petition, urging the Supreme Court to reject the challenge and to allow the NSA to continue spying on Americans unmolested.

Along with other defenses, the Administration said that the EPIC challenge is unwarranted because phone companies could challenge the secret orders from the FISC court for information. To date, however, there have been no challenges to FISC orders from telecom providers.

The Feds also allege that the Patriot Act provisions that allow the NSA phone data collection disallow third parties like EPIC to challenge the government’s actions.

“Congress established that only specified parties — the government or the recipient of an order — may seek review in this Court of a FISC decision under Section 1861,” the Administration said.

EPIC’s challenge to the NSA data-collection program came on the heels of Snowden’s explosive revelations of widespread government spying justified under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. That section grants FISC the ability to authorize broad warrants for several types of Americans’ records, including those held by banks, doctors and phone companies, with no suspicion of links to terror or wrongdoing.

The spying has been going on in its current capacity since 2006, according to government officials.

“As of October 1, 2013, fourteen different judges of the FISC, on thirty-four separate occasions, have approved Section 1861 orders directing telecommunications service providers to produce records in connection with the Telephony Records Program,” the Administration said in its rebuttal to the EPIC petition.

But EPIC maintains that the Federal government has long used a perverted interpretation of the Patriot Act in order to collect troves of data about Americans at home and abroad without linking its efforts to particular investigations.

“The ongoing collection of the domestic telephone records of millions of Americans by the NSA, untethered to any particular investigation, is beyond the authority granted by Congress to the FISC…” according to EPIC’s petition.

EPIC chronicles its fight against NSA spying here.

Note from the Editor: Under the Obama Administration, the NSA, the IRS, and the State and Justice departments are blatantly stepping on Americans’ privacy—and these are just the breaches we’re aware of. I’ve arranged for readers to get a free copy of The Ultimate Privacy Guide so you can be protected from any form of surveillance by anyone—government, corporate or criminal. Click here for your free copy.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • RobinPC

    1. Samuel 2:16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Nothing like do it my way or no way.

  • Ulrich Malloy

    Hussein Obama is the most frustrated figurehead we’ve ever had in what is now the den of the ” Abomination of Desolation ” Black House. He wants to usurp the Constitution but our founding fathers were far too brilliant in their crafting of our governing documents. Our Second Amendment deters him from a violent coupe. He , as every communist leaning president before him, fears us white, gun toteing , conservative men.

    • Sick of NY

      I can relate to the Black House comment, as a black fog of tyranny is seeping from every window. As for your “fears us white, gun toteing , conservative men.” part, you haven’t left your house in a while. There are a great deal of gun toting , conservative black men that I will proudly stand by. Racist comments are what the progressives want to see, they are intentionally dividing this country.

  • Smee

    Wonder when the shooting war will begin??