FISA Amendments Act

The government is relying upon the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) to engage in the surveillance of Americans' international phone calls, text messages, and emails. Recent disclosures show that an unknown number of purely domestic communications are also monitored, that the rules that supposedly protect Americans' privacy are weak and riddled with exceptions, and that virtually every email that goes into or out of the United States is scanned for suspicious keywords. Click here to read more about the ACLU's work to reform the FAA.

The NSA's Spying On Americans: Not As "Inadvertent" As It Claims

The NSA's Spying On Americans: Not As "Inadvertent" As It Claims

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:19am
Another week, another trove of documents detailing the inner secrets of the NSA's massive spying program. Recent revelations have finally provided a look at the procedures that the NSA uses to target and retain communications under the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). As my colleague Brett Max Kaufman wrote even before this latest batch of news broke, officials have been using the word "target" in very misleading ways to repeatedly reassure the American public that the law only applies to foreigners abroad, and does not permit the NSA to listen in on Americans' phone calls or read their emails.
VIDEO: NSA Whistleblower Explains How the U.S. Government Is Spying on Every Single Electronic Communication You Have

VIDEO: NSA Whistleblower Explains How the U.S. Government Is Spying on Every Single Electronic Communication You Have

By Josh Bell, Media Strategist, ACLU at 1:37pm

An amazing video posted on The New York Times website today lays out in chilling detail how the National Security Agency is sucking up every piece of communication data in America – from phone calls to emails to cell phone location – and…

Government Reverses Course on Warrantless Wiretapping in Criminal Case, Admits Duty to Notify Defendants

Government Reverses Course on Warrantless Wiretapping in Criminal Case, Admits Duty to Notify Defendants

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:08pm

Last week, the government finally took a step toward living up to promises it made in the Supreme Court this past fall. Reversing course in a little-watched criminal case in Florida, the government conceded its obligation to notify defendants when…

ACLU Seeks Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA's Mass Acquisition of Americans' Phone Records

ACLU Seeks Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA's Mass Acquisition of Americans' Phone Records

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:30pm

The ACLU and Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Clinic filed a motion today with the Foreign Intelligence...

Who’s a Radical Now?

Who’s a Radical Now?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:10am

The Bipartisan Policy Center published a report last week called, “Countering Online Radicalization in America,” which strongly endorsed First Amendment principles in rejecting censorship as an appropriate tactic for addressing violent…

"There Have Been Some Compliance Incidents": NSA Violates Surveillance Rules Multiple Times a Day

"There Have Been Some Compliance Incidents": NSA Violates Surveillance Rules Multiple Times a Day

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 2:21pm

The Washington Post reported last night that the NSA has been violating...

Raiding the "Corporate Store": The NSA's Unfettered Access to a Vast Pool of Americans' Phone Data

Raiding the "Corporate Store": The NSA's Unfettered Access to a Vast Pool of Americans' Phone Data

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:10am

The director of National Intelligence declassified three documents on Wednesday related to the NSA's mass collection of Americans' telephone records. One of these — a so-called "primary order" issued by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance…

Today at the Supreme Court: The Right to Challenge Warrantless Wiretapping

Today at the Supreme Court: The Right to Challenge Warrantless Wiretapping

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 6:26pm

The ACLU appeared before the Supreme Court to argue for the right of Americans to challenge a law that instituted a far-reaching and unconstitutional surveillance regime. 

How to Decode the True Meaning of What NSA Officials Say

How to Decode the True Meaning of What NSA Officials Say

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 12:09pm

This piece was originally published on Slate.

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has been harshly criticized for having misled Congress earlier this year about the scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance activities.…

NSA Surveillance: No Checks, No Balance

NSA Surveillance: No Checks, No Balance

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 1:18pm

About two weeks ago, Sens. Patrick Leahy and Chuck Grassley, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asking questions about the court's operations in advance…

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