ACLU in Court Tomorrow to Challenge Unconstitutional Spying Law

Tomorrow, we'll be in court presenting oral arguments in our challenge to the unconstitutional FISA Amendments Act (FAA) — the law passed by Congress last year that gave the government virtually unchecked power to intercept Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls. As you may recall, we filed a lawsuit to stop the government from spying under the FAA less than an hour after the Act was signed into law by President Bush on July 10, 2008.

The case — Amnesty v. McConnell — was filed on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations. These groupsrely on confidential communications to do their work, and are therefore greatly compromised by the FAA.

In this short ACLU video, National Security Project Director Jameel Jaffer (who will be arguing the case tomorrow) discusses the FAA and its implications with two of our plaintiffs — The Nation's Chris Hedges and Human Rights Watch's Dinah PoKempner.

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To learn more about our plaintiffs and the issue at stake, visit And be sure to check back for updates after tomorrow's hearing.

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Samdra Sandoski

There are problems in Canada also. People are being tortured. The Branden Institute is a cia front and harasses people with shrinks using techniques like project MonarK. loveme/lovemenot common in many areas. cruelty of the gpsing and sound system torture is complemented with use of security system torture systems in apts or anywhere. Legislation needs to be created.

Al Fisher

What I heard was that it's ultimately important that you (ACLU) and "especially journalists" need exemption from this. It seemed only an afterthought that all people of the United States of America should not be subjected to this kind personal invasion of privacy. We are not yet a socialist, communist country, although I fear we're not far from it.


Victims of "group stalking" are not being taken seriously by the ACLU and other groups, to the great peril of many. These stalking operations/programs are a fact across this still great country of ours and, yet, because they are so unbelievable (and many of the victims do not appear to be credible), these programs continue unabated. Those involved act with impunity.

Someone needs to do something to help stop these stalking groups, or we are all in great danger, I fear.



Leo Boyea

I feel that the ACLU goes too far and you feel like the US has used torture each and every one of you should have a son or daughter and yourselfs watch the shotting of our armed forces shot and then think of what I DON'T THINK of as torture could save American lives. YES Saving our lives is more important to ME. Sometimes you people should listen to the majority od Americans.


Mr. Boyea, you are the minority, not the majority of Americans.

If you do some research, you will find that the experts cannot equate torture with saving lives. The outrage of countrymen of our victims puts our servicemen at greater risk.

On a higher level, many of the people we tortured were innocent. On an even higher level, torture is morally wrong and always will be wrong. I'll go out on a limb and assume you are a Christian. WWJD?

Wayne Dickson

Non-partisan is good. Ensures people have access to relatively objective info. Partisan is good. Ensures people are allowed to promote the ideologies they believe in. But that leaves a significant gap in between.

This is the gap where one party is particularly egregious at violating the constitution – or another party – or several parties in concert if not in active collusion.

If one cannot turn to the ACLU for independence in telling it as it is, naming names impartially, where can one turn?


I, for one, am very supportive of the ACLU's efforts to curtail the excesses of the current FISA regime.

We arrive at the evil of tyranny one step at a time. We must fight tyranny every step of the way.

Robert Shepherd

Al Fisher Starts by making an inane argument that by pointing out a few prime examples, the larger group is somehow ignored. He then segues to his next piercing insight as to whats behind all this...Communism/Socialism. Perhaps learning what the words mean would be helpful to Mr. Fisher in trying to grasp the fact that the problem at issue here came into being during Bush/Chaney and have everything to do with Dictatorship/despotism and nothing to do with Mr.Fishers totally ignorant creation of Socialism as the problem here.

Robert Shepherd

Leo Boyea states that "some things" read waterboarding, are not in his opinion torture as it has been "up till recently" defined by our government. We(our government) have in fact prosecuted others who perpetrated this act. He, it seems along with many other would be Patriots, fail to understand what it is that our soldiers in theory and hopefully in fact, die to protect. They do not die in the name of torture. But it seems that no matter how many times one sites The Constitution/our laws/or guiding principals, some will ignore these things out of fear, grief, ignorance, hatred or some idea of an eye for an eye.

As long as people wrap themselves in the flag without any knowledge of what that flag represents, and rail against any and all who invoke facts to counter delusion,even when those fact support a righteous argument, I will fear for the nation that I love.

One can not and should not expect every soldier who fights for this country to be a Thomas Jefferson but those who send them into war should honor our founding fathers and understand and honor our Constitution and laws.

Our people, who war for us with honor must in turn be honored. But we can not cede the argument of why we fight and how we make war to some who have no concept of who we are as a nation yet invoke the dead to make their case. No matter how heroic I feel it is to fight in our armed services, no matter how much I wish they did not have to die and honor them that do, we as a nation must not become the monster with which we do battle despite all hysterical arguments to the contrary. We owe it to all the troops who ever fought so that we could be free and live honorably as free people.


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