A FREEDOM OF INFORMATION lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), has established that US domestic spying on its own citizens is out of control.
The EFF said that documents show that a 2011 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ruling found that some surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) was "unconstitutional". It has won the right to make that ruling public.
"For over a year, [the] EFF has been fighting the government in federal court to force the public release of an 86-page opinion of the secret FISC," it said in a post on its website.
"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."
"Today, [the] EFF can declare victory: a federal court ordered the government to release records in our litigation, the government has indicated it intends to release the opinion today," it said.
"It remains to be seen how much of the opinion the government will actually make available to the public. President Obama has repeatedly said he welcomes a debate on the NSA's surveillance: disclosing this opinion - and releasing enough of it so that citizens and advocates can intelligently debate the constitutional violation that occurred - is a critical step in ensuring that an informed debate takes place."
NSA surveillance has been a hot topic since whistleblower Edward Snowden blew the lid off the PRISM programme and other surveillance revelations. According to the EFF the release of the information today will spur discussion about domestic surveillance.
The FISC found that the NSA had misrepresented its surveillance efforts at least three times between 2008 and 2011.
According to a report at the Washington Post the US government collected tens of thousands of pieces of correspondence during the period. In 2011 the court said that the material collection was "fundamentally different from what the court had been lead to believe". µ
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