CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"How a Court Secretly Evolved, Extending U.S. Spies’ Reach"

The story is at The New York Times:

The files help explain how the court evolved from its original task — approving wiretap requests — to engaging in complex analysis of the law to justify activities like the bulk collection of data about Americans’ emails and phone calls.

“These latest disclosures are important,” said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “They indicate how the contours of the law secretly changed, and they represent the transformation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court into an interpreter of law and not simply an adjudicator of surveillance applications.”

The Raw Take order appears to have been the first substantial demonstration of the court’s willingness after Sept. 11 to reinterpret the law to expand government powers. N.S.A. officials included it as one of three court rulings on an internal timeline of key developments in surveillance law from 1972 to 2010, deeming it a historic event alongside once-secret 2004 and 2006 rulings on bulk email and call data.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2014/03/how-a-court-secretly-evolved-extending-us-spies-reach.html

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