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Congress Must Act on Warrantless Wiretapping

As Congress and the president rush to re-authorize the dangerous FISA Amendments Act — the law shamefully passed after pressure to legalize certain portions of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program — EFF has been sounding the alarm that Americans’ communications are still being unconstitutionally collected by the government without a warrant. On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) begrudgingly agreed, acknowledging that “on at least one occasion” the secret FISA court “held that some collection … used by the government was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

In a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the DNI declassified three statements at the request of the senator, one of which indicated that the FISA court agreed with Wyden that the government had “circumvented the spirit of the law.” Wired called it a “federal sidestep of a major section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” and The Wall Street Journal confirmed that it “represented the first time the government has acknowledged U.S. spy activities violated the Constitution since the passage of” the Amendments Act in 2008.

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