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EPIC petitions US Supreme Court to review PRISM data collection

The FISA court can't have the last word
Tue Oct 29 2013, 17:14

UNITED STATES CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is opposing the US government’s desire to avoid a US Supreme Court ruling on NSA data collection.

EPIC has kicked back against the government’s attempt to avoid scrutiny and a surveillance shutdown, saying that it cannot be right that it gets away with saying that the rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are not subject to review by the US Supreme Court.

"The government argues the Supreme Court cannot hear the case,” it said in a statement. "EPIC responded that it 'simply cannot be correct' that the order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, an inferior court, is not reviewable by the Supreme Court."

EPIC challenged the government earlier when it discovered an arrangement between Verizon, a company that it is a customer of, and the National Security Agency. It was told that it could not mount a legal challenge to this because of the provisions of the US Patriot Act.

EPIC said that this is "unlawful", adding that no court has ever given a green light to massive collections of random personal data.

"No court has ever determined that 'relevance' permits the compelled production of such vast quantities of irrelevant personal information," EPIC said.

"These telephone records are unique and identifiable, and reveal a great deal of private information about millions of telephone users. In no instance has the Government established any individualized suspicion to support the collection of this information."

The civil rights group wants an immediate end to bulk data collection. EPIC, along with other organisations, has asked the Department of Defense to require that the NSA start complying with the US Privacy Act. µ


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