commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Federal Judges finds some Bush era domestic wiretaps illegal……

The ruling by a federal judge….. upholds the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act policy of having the National Security Agency obtain a warrant under a FISA judge’s direction for all domestic ,non-emergency, wiretaps.

The Bush Administration and the Obama Administration both argued that the executive branch did not need to get the warrant……

The judge disagreed…..

The case involved Al Haraamin ….an Islāmic Charity operating in the state of Oregon that the NSA wire taped without authorization from the FISA court…..previous suits against the practice have been thrown out on technical reasons…….

The Obama Administration has advised that in the beginning of their tenure they did the same thing..but has since reverted back to obtaining FISA warrants in domestic wiretapping situations…..

Congress has renewed most of the controversal  Patriot Act……..

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former PresidentGeorge W. Bush.

In a 45-page opinion, Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance,” the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.

The ruling delivered a blow to the Bush administration’s claims that its surveillance program, which Mr. Bush secretly authorized shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was lawful. Under the program, the National Security Agency monitored Americans’ international e-mail messages and phone calls without court approval, even though the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, required warrants.

The Justice Department said it was reviewing the decision and had made no decision about whether to appeal.

The ruling by Judge Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, rejected the Justice Department’s claim — first asserted by the Bush administration and continued under President Obama — that the charity’s lawsuit should be dismissed without a ruling on the merits because allowing it to go forward could reveal state secrets.


March 31, 2010 - Posted by | Breaking News, Computers, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, September 11, Updates | , , , , ,

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