Late last year, a judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court gave the green light to the National Security Agency to start using a new tool to help the government protect against international terrorism while balancing the legitimate need to protect privacy and civil liberties. The USA FREEDOM Act, passed by Congress last June, ended the government’s ability to collect information about Americans’ phone calls in bulk under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, and replaced it with a new arrangement – initiated with court approval on Nov.
Latest in FISA: 215 Collection
This morning, the government filed a motion to vacate the preliminary injunction in Klayman and to dismiss the appeal as moot.
On midnight of November 29th, the NSA stopped its bulk collection of telephony metadata once authorized under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Under the USA Freedom Act, which Congress passed in June, the agency was required to reform its phone records program, creating a mechanism by which the data would be stored locally with the phone providers and searchable only after receiving an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for a "specific selection term."
Well, we can count one vote on the DC Circuit for upholding the Section 215 program against Larry Klayman's Fourth Amendment challenge.
Here's a brief update on my piece yesterday on the Klayman litigation. The government yesterday, as promised, moved in the D.C. Circuit for a stay of Judge Leon's ruling.
You might have thought the judicial wrangling over the Section 215 program would end now that Congress had passed the USA Freedom Act winding down the program and replacing it—particularly now that the new law is set to go into effect in just a few weeks.
You'd have been wrong on that.
Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has issued an injunction against the NSA's bulk metadata collection program in his ruling in Klayman v. Obama, ruling that the plantiffs "are likely to have standing to challenge the constitutionality" of the program.
You can read the full opinion below:
This morning, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in ACLU v. Clapper declined to issue a preliminary injunction halting NSA's bulk collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act as authorized by the USA FREEDOM Act's 180 day transition period.
The D.C. Circuit has spoken in Obama v. Klayman—the constitutional challenge to the just-winding-down bulk metadata program—and it has announced its refusal to speak on the subject.
On Friday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorized the extension of the NSA's collection of bulk telephony metadata under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act until November 29th, 2015—the latter date marking the end of a transition to new, narrower surveillance rules imposed by the USA Freedom Act.