Appeals Court Reiterates: ACLU And Others Are Allowed To Sue The Gov't Over Secret Spying

from the moving-on... dept

Back in March, an appeals court said that the ACLU and others could challenge the controversial FISA Amendments Act, the highly controversial change to the law that Senator Wyden has been clearly suggesting is being interpreted ridiculously broadly, such that the US government is collecting private data on potentially millions of Americans without oversight or review. The concern was whether or not the ACLU had "standing" to bring the case. That's because no one knows if their private data has been scooped up and used under FISA, because the government isn't revealing it. But if you can't prove you've been harmed by the law, can you sue? The government claimed that since the ACLU had no proof it could not sue. The court disagreed.

Not surprisingly, the US asked the full appeals court (rather than just the three judge panel) to review that ruling, but the court has now rejected that request. Often when a court refuses to rehear a case en banc, there isn't much of a discussion about it -- they just refuse. Yet here, there's an 83 page filing of opinions (pdf) by judges on the court arguing over whether or not the case should have been heard. Incredibly, despite the clear implications of what Senator Wyden has been saying, a bunch of judges say that the FISA Amendments Act doesn't represent a significant change in the law. Thankfully, those judges were outvoted here, and the lawsuit can move forward.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 2:53pm

    Minor correction

    I may be mistaken, but I believe the judges were split evenly down the middle, rather than one side "out-voting" the other. Due to the split, the lawsuit was allowed to proceed.

    Like I said though, I might be wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Minor correction

    I can only see 1 judges name concuring with the hearing of hearing en banc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 3:02pm

    Something to think about...

    .

    Secret laws are a sure sign that you are living under tyranny.

    .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    Is it just me...

    Is it just me, or they were having a hearing on whether they should have a hearing on whether they should have a hearing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Is it just me...

    That's what I'm hearing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Is it just me...

    +1 for Recursion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Minor correction

    I'm probably thinking of a different current event.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    Standing??

    It seems to me that fear that my communications may have been intercepted causes emotional damage and therefore I (and anyone else) have standing to sue. The only way for the government to prove I haven't been damaged is to prove they have not spied upon me. To do that, they'd have to reveal the full list of who has been spied upon. And we all know that will never happen!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    I read somewhere that 80% of all Americans will have a criminal record of some kind when they reach the age of 40.

    So it impresses me to know that nobody cares about how criminals are being treated, since it probably is in their interest to make laws that will guarantee they are not mistreated by their own government.

    America is a nation of criminals today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    HMTKSteve, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 5:18pm

    Standing

    Any time the court tells a plaintif that they lack standing that same court should be required to tell the plaintif who would have standing.

    Plaintif: I want to sue over this.
    Court: Sorry but you lack standing.
    P: What about that guy over there, can he sue?
    C: Nope.
    P: But somebody can sue, right?
    C: Yup.
    P: So... can you point me to someone who would have standing?
    C: Sorry, not my job...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 5:34pm

    Re:

    .

    Or, and possibly the more reasonably assumed, America is a nation suffering from hyper-criminalization (too many laws).

    .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Something to think about...

    SecrecyKills

    Check it out...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Standing

    That's easy: Anyone who doesn't know they are being secretly spied on has standing to challenge the spying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Sep 24th, 2011 @ 1:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Is it just me...

    Recursive recursion is recursive recursion is recursive...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    The Higher Jinn, Sep 24th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Is it just me...

    +1 from the Meta-Genie

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    edebiyat, Sep 25th, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Edebiyat

    wwww.yeniedebiyat.blogspot.com
    Edebiyat ve Şiir sitesi
    Yazılı soruları, Türk edebiyatı ders notları, Dil ve anlatım ders notları, diksioyn ders notları,Sesli şiirler, fon müzikleri, hikayeler, masallar

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    baby, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Oh, you mean the government can't take away the rights of its citizens just because they want to. It is about time a court mentioned that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    prowest, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 11:38pm

    Thank goodness. I'm tried of people that TRULY hate my freedoms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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