Warrantless Wiretapping Lawsuit Allowed To Move Forward Despite Ridiculous Levels Of Secrecy
from the good-news-for-civil-liberties dept
Last year, we wrote about the absolutely ridiculous limitations placed on the lawyers pushing forward on behalf of the Al-Harmain Islamic Foundation to sue the federal government for warrantless wiretapping. As discussed, courts have thrown out most legal challenges by groups like the ACLU, because those groups have no proof that they were spied on — thus they have no legal standing in the eyes of the law. The one exception to this is Al-Harmain, because the government accidentally revealed a classified document admitting that it spied on the group without a warrant. Except… even though the government revealed the document, in a bizarre twist, it’s demanding that the document is still secret, and it seems that Al-Harmain’s lawyers can barely even mention the document’s existence, let alone the contents of it. The earlier post goes through some of the ridiculous twists and turns Al-Harmain’s lawyers needed to go through (including responding to a Justice Dept. filing that the lawyers weren’t even allowed to read).
With all of that to go up against, it seemed quite likely that the government would succeed in getting the case thrown out — but amazingly, it appears that the lawsuit will go forward and the lawyers in question will get security clearance, and the judge in the case will actually be allowed to see the “secret document” that isn’t really that secret any more. This may be the one and only case that can actually challenge the legality of the federal government’s warrantless wiretapping program, so this is fantastic news.