NSA may collect phone records: Spy court

2014-01-04 08:32

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A secretive US spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American's telephone records every day, in the midst of duelling decisions in two other federal courts about whether the surveillance programme is constitutional.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Friday renewed the NSA phone collection programme, said Shawn Turner, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Such periodic requests are somewhat formulaic but required since the programme started in 2006.

The latest approval was the first since two conflicting court decisions about whether the programme is lawful and since a presidential advisory panel recommended that the NSA no longer be allowed to collect and store the phone records and search them without obtaining separate court approval for each search.

In a statement, Turner said that 15 judges on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on 36 occasions over the past seven years have approved the NSA's collection of US phone records as lawful.

Also Friday, government lawyers turned to US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to block one federal judge's decision that threatens the NSA phone records programme.

The opposing lawyer who spearheaded the effort that led to the ruling said he hopes to take the issue directly to the Supreme Court.

‘Almost Orwellian’

The Justice Department filed a one-page notice of appeal asking the appeals court to overturn US District Judge Richard Leon's ruling last month that the programme was likely unconstitutional. The government's move had been expected.

Larry Klayman, who filed the class-action suit against President Barack Obama and top administration national security officials, said he intends to petition the federal appeals court next week to send the case directly to the Supreme Court. Klayman said the move was justified because the NSA case was a matter of great public importance.

"There are exigent circumstances here," Klayman said. "We can't allow this situation to continue. The NSA's continuing to spy on everybody."

Turner said US intelligence agencies would be willing to modify the phone records surveillance programme to provide additional privacy and civil liberties protections as long as it was still operationally beneficial. He said the Obama administration was carefully evaluating the advisory panel's recent recommendations.

Judges sitting on the secretive spy court have repeatedly approved the programme for 90-day periods. They also have repeatedly upheld the constitutionality of the programme - a judicial bulwark that held strong until Leon's surprise decision last month.

Leon said the NSA's programme was "almost Orwellian," a reference to writer George Orwell's futuristic novel "1984", and that there was little evidence the operation had prevented terrorist attacks. He ruled against the government but agreed to postpone shutting down the programme until the government could appeal.

In a separate case involving the same NSA phone records programme, a district judge in New York last month upheld the government's data collection as lawful. The American Civil Liberties Union, which lost that case, said this week it will appeal to a federal appeals court in New York.

- AP
Read more on:    nsa  |  us  |  privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.