Judge Rules In Favor Of NSA In Warrantless Search Case
A U.S. judge today ruled in favor of the National Security Agency in a lawsuit over its warrantless interception of Internet communications.
According to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland California, the plaintiffs failed to establish legal standing to pursue their claim that the government was in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Further, Judge White said that the need to protect state secrets precluded him from ruling on the issue, even if the plaintiffs did have a standing.
The case, Jewel v. NSA, was brought forth by a writer in California who believed that AT&T should have obtained a warrant before forwarding the Internet traffic of its customers to intelligence agencies like the NSA. Filed in 2008, the case is notable because it was one of the first to challenge U.S. metadata collection and scrutinize tech companies’ cooperation with government orders. Specifically, it alleges that the government collects Internet communications, filters out domestic messages, and searches for information related to terrorism. The claim is that the lack of a warrant and the absence of individualized suspicion violates the Fourth Amendment.
This ruling is only the latest in litigation over how government agencies should balance national security efforts with privacy protections for citizens.