Judge Blasted NSA for Violating Constitution
Secret 2011 court ruling declassified
By Newser Editors, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2013 5:29 AM CDT
Updated Aug 22, 2013 6:30 AM CDT
Tthe sign outside the National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Maryland.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – It turns out 100% of the wrath directed at the NSA over its surveillance practices has not occurred in 2013. Major outlets are reporting that the agency was taken to task by the chief judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2011 for time and again misleading the court—and violating the Constitution, reports the Wall Street Journal. In the secret ruling made public yesterday thanks to a FOIA lawsuit brought a year ago, Judge John D. Bates described the court as "troubled that the ... NSA's acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program," per the New York Times.

NSA officials had apparently realized that in their scanning of foreign-related emails they had also swooped up "wholly domestic" messages—over the course of some three years. (The Washington Post puts the number at roughly 56,000 emails each year.) Officials speaking with the Post emphasized that the NSA made the court aware of the issue by way of its regular reports in May 2011; Bates noted, however, this revelation came years after the NSA was in 2008 given the authority to process international Internet data running through fiber-optic cables in the US (this represents about 9% of what it collects each year). The ruling says the NSA's so-called "upstream collection" was "in some respects, deficient on statutory and constitutional grounds." The NSA worked with the court to fix the problem.

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Showing 3 of 35 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Aug 31, 2013 5:48 PM CDT
The court didn't have enough authority to override objection of Bill Clinton to issuing wire taps and listen device warrants of the 9/11 conspirators as they met in motels to do their dry runs when he was in office. His reasoning is if they turned out to be simply business meetings and the Saudi's found out, they could expel our bases there. So instead of risking that, Clinton told the FBI to leave the visitors alone and let them conduct their business. Well they did just that on the morning of 9-11.
BruceTillson
Aug 25, 2013 3:30 PM CDT
Without any oversight, these rulings mean absolutely nothing. The NSA is still doing this and it continues to go unchecked. Just like Fast and Furious,,there is plenty of truth about it but no one is going to go after those who are to blame. American lives are gone in Benghazi...no over sight, no investigation and no one owning up to the mistakes. It appears that this Administration is just simply above any laws or checks and balances. WHY? Who is frightening everyone who would have the ability to call this Administration up on the carpet about these illegals acts? We have no one in our House Of Representatives with the stones to get some really investigations going on??? WE have elected people to protect our Constitution and the Citizens of this country,,(notice I said "citizens" and not residents),,,and where are they???
19_56_19_55
Aug 24, 2013 8:52 AM CDT
So what makes that Judge any different I bet the judge has done plenty wrong to innocent people that came before him in the past as well as now he's pissed cause he might be one they listened to.