'Secret Interpretation' Turns 200 Years of American Law on it's HeadSubmitted by goldenequity on Thu, 07/11/2013 - 11:39
Secret Court's Redefinition of 'Relevant' Empowered Vast NSA Data-Gathering
In classified orders starting in the mid-2000s, the (secret) court accepted that the term “relevant” could be broadened.
►Surveillance Lawsuit (now) AT the Supreme Court
RELEVANCE is the key issue argued in the suit... see 2:30 mark
It then permitted the entire database of records on millions of people.
The obvious long standing interpretation widely applied historically in criminal cases allows only specific and pertinent records.
“Relevant” has long been a broad standard.
The way the (secret) court is (now) interpreting it, to mean “everything,” is new.
Pretending that “everything” is “relevant”
Interpreting “relevant” as meaning “everything” throws more than 200 years of American law on its head … plus a couple hundred additional years of British common law on which early American law was based. The most basic principle of evidence law is that only information actually relevant to the case can be admitted.
The 'secret interpretation'
The two senators on the Intelligence Committee, Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) and Mark Udall (D., Colo.), have argued repeatedly that there was a “secret interpretation” of the Patriot Act, and now confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that this new interpretation of the word “relevant” is what they meant.
Government’s “Secret Interpretation” of Patriot Act: “EVERYTHING” Is Relevant … So Spy on EVERYONE