How privacy advocates shined light on NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance

From The Switch blog at Washington Post:  After a legal battle that went on over a year, the federal government was forced to reveal a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (FISC) opinion that showed the National Security Agency (NSA) engaged in unconstitutional surveillance practices, including the collection of tens of thousands of Americans’ online communications.

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Secret Court opinion finding NSA surveillance unconstitutional released

From Electronic Frontier Foundation:  For over a year, 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.

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Ability to police U.S. spying program limited, says FISA court chief judge

From the Washington Post:  The chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy. Without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of the government’s assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes.

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NSA says it can’t search its own emails

From ProPublica:  The NSA is a "supercomputing powerhouse" with machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second. The agency turns its giant machine brains to the task of sifting through unimaginably large troves of data its surveillance programs capture.

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The case for a secrecy beat

Editorial from Columbia Journalism Review:  Despite the recent blockbuster leaks about spying on the phone records of millions of Americans, and President Obama’s stated willingness to discuss the issues they raise, a front-page New York Times article on Tuesday asserted that “legal and political obstacles” make a vigorous public debate about sur…

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U.S. surveillance court won’t stop release of secret ruling

From Bloomberg Businessweek:  The secret U.S. court that rules on surveillance requests from intelligence agencies said it won’t stand in the way of an activist group’s lawsuit seeking the release of one of its nonpublic opinions.

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