Justices uphold government immunity over domestic eavesdropping program
October 9th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Justices uphold government immunity over domestic eavesdropping program

By Bill Mears

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday left in place a law that allows the Justice Department to stop suits against telecommunications companies for participating in wiretaps of potential terrorists.

The ruling was a key setback for civil libertarians challenging the broader powers of government since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States to use electronic surveillance to track potential threats in the name of national security.

The Justices declined to take up a challenge to the once-secret domestic eavesdropping program under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - this one involving the monitoring of information moving into and out of the United States.

Previous petitions dealing with alleged abuses of the surveillance law also have been rejected by the court. Another case will be heard later this month.

In this case, Verizon Communications, Sprint Nextel, and AT&T were accused of privacy violations by assisting the government with intelligence gathering following the hijack attacks on New York and Washington.

The law had previously required the government to justify a national security interest before any phone calls and emails originating in another country could be monitored. A federal judge had to sign any search warrant. But President George W. Bush secretly suspended that requirement following the attacks.

After "warrantless wiretapping" was exposed, the president and supporters in Congress moved to amend the law, which defenders contend is designed to target only foreigners living outside the United States.

The retroactive immunity was challenged in the class action suit turned aside by the high court on Tuesday.

Privacy groups worry such electronic dragnets could easily and unknowingly intrude on the privacy rights of U.S. citizens. The government calls that "speculation" but cites national security in refusing to provide specifics.

The lawsuits launched by a number of telecommunications customers cited the testimony of Mark Klein, a retired AT&T engineer from San Francisco, who claimed company executives gave government access to internal hardware.

The result, he testified, was "vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet, whether that be people's email, web surfing or any other data."

In an appeal, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union said the retroactive immunity was unconstitutional because it gave unfettered power to the executive branch - namely the attorney general and the director of national intelligence - to decide it could not be held accountable in court.

Attorney General Eric Holder has used that power to block about 30 suits.

Justice Samuel Alito did not participate in the appeal. Previously released financial records show he has owned telecommunications stock and likely recused himself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The Supreme Court will hear a related challenge to the domestic surveillance program on October 29.

The larger issue involves the constitutionality of the government's electronic monitoring of targeted foreigners.

A federal appeals court in New York last year ruled domestic plaintiffs who deal with global clients and co-workers reasonably feared the government was reading and hearing their sensitive communications. Those groups took costly measures to avoid such intrusions.

The question to be addressed is whether certain Americans have "standing" to challenge the federal law without a specific showing they have been monitored.

Other lawsuits over the surveillance program that raise various legal issues are pending in lower courts.

The case rejected Tuesday is Hepting v. AT&T (11-1200). The case to be heard later this month is Clapper v. Amnesty International USA (11-1025)


Filed under: Intelligence
soundoff (456 Responses)
  1. catering near me

    https://www.fugleognatur.dk/links/klik.asp?id_link=394&url=http://bestservicenearme.com

    June 19, 2021 at 3:19 am | Reply
  2. RV Repair Santa Ana

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a great articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

    https://secure.duoservers.com/?lang=en&s_id=123179&rdomain=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-costa-mesa-california/&action=order&popup=1

    June 19, 2021 at 3:10 am | Reply
  3. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the site is really good.

    http://www.freedback.com/thank_you.php?u=ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-step-repair-near-me

    June 19, 2021 at 3:05 am | Reply
  4. RV Repair Around Me

    http://community.nxp.com/t5/custom/page/page-id/ExternalRedirect?url=www.ocrv.mobi/rv-repair-shop-lancaster-california/

    June 19, 2021 at 1:53 am | Reply
  5. RV Repair San Clemente California

    https://www.bukkit.org/proxy.php?link=https://www.skiplink.org/Mbzc/

    June 19, 2021 at 12:05 am | Reply
  6. RV Repair Orange County

    http://bitly.com/a/warning?hash=3nUs1YL&url=http://gg.gg/p0sx4

    June 18, 2021 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  7. RV Repair Orange County California

    Howdy! This post could not be written much better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I'll send this information to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    http://paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.info/rv-repair-shop-cahuenga-pass-california/

    June 18, 2021 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  8. RV Repair Near Me

    https://channel.iezvu.com/share/UnboxingyanálisisdeChromecast2?page=http://ocrvcenter.com/esurance-rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 18, 2021 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  9. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you can fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.

    https://www.irwebcast.com/cgi-local/report/redirect.cgi?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-vinyl-wrap-repair-near-me/

    June 18, 2021 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  10. home builders contractor

    https://edwinv75r4.blogdomago.com/4683868/indicators-on-generator-repair-you-should-know

    June 18, 2021 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  11. RV Repairs Near My Location

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Cheers!

    http://noexcuselist.com/li/?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-technician-near-me

    June 18, 2021 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  12. Camper Repair Near Me

    http://directory.pasadenanow.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrv.us/rv-repair-shop-loma-linda-california/

    June 18, 2021 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  13. find general contractors near me

    http://shanep41h0.blog2news.com/5395846/mercedes-sprinter-refrigerator-repair-an-overview

    June 18, 2021 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  14. https://www.ezyget.com

    May be always better use white as background for content-based websites.
    Optimizing your fonts may possibly you have more readers because your content
    may appear far more readable.

    June 18, 2021 at 10:55 am | Reply
  15. caseys near me

    I was extremely pleased to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new information on your web site.

    http://fitness.flexybox.com/foreverfit/ViewSwitcher/SwitchView?mobile=True&returnUrl=http://bestlocalnearme.com/&lang=da

    June 18, 2021 at 9:44 am | Reply
  16. bowling alley near me

    http://www.bulkfares.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 5:58 am | Reply
  17. del taco near me

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    http://www.c-span3.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 5:21 am | Reply
  18. car wash near me

    There is certainly a great deal to know about this topic. I like all the points you've made.

    http://www.laminexcustomcards.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com

    June 18, 2021 at 1:57 am | Reply
  19. ihop near me

    http://www.buzzuniversity.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=wholesalenearme.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 1:41 am | Reply
  20. ymca near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this website needs much more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

    http://sarahcenters.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=wholesalenearme.com

    June 18, 2021 at 12:02 am | Reply
  21. kayaking near me

    http://em.gohawaii.com/mtr40/c2.php?HVCB/26693011/218753/H/N/V/https://bjsnearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  22. dsw near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the site is really good.

    https://blogranking.fc2.com/out.php?id=1032500&url=https://bestshopnearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  23. mechanic near me

    I like it when individuals get together and share thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

    http://www.marcomanfredini.it/radio/visualizzacollezione.php?paginanews=0&contenuto=13&quale=40&origine=http://bestlocalnearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  24. us post office near me

    Itís nearly impossible to find educated people about this subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://pram.elmercurio.com/Logout.aspx?ApplicationName=EMOL&l=yes&SSOTargetUrl=https://bestlocalnearme.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  25. eye exam near me

    Great post. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..

    http://www.goldformlabel.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=masternearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  26. asian market near me

    http://www.firstmouse.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=masternearme.com

    June 17, 2021 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  27. hiking trails near me

    http://www.venturegenerated.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=quotenearme.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  28. Celina Hilson

    You are so interesting! I do not believe I've read through a single thing like this before. So nice to discover another person with some unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that's needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

    June 17, 2021 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  29. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    http://www.anonymz.com/?http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-santa-fe-springs-california

    June 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  30. Mint Mobile Coupon

    Spot on as usual. I posted this on my LinkedIn and my audience loved it!
    Keep up the good work. 🙂

    June 17, 2021 at 10:21 am | Reply
  31. RV Repair Around Me

    http://texasonline.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/national-general-rv-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 17, 2021 at 9:54 am | Reply
  32. RV Repair Around Me

    Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!

    http://www.xcelenergy.com/stateselector?stateselected=true&goto=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-valley-village-california

    June 17, 2021 at 8:08 am | Reply
  33. RV Repair Around Me

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Kudos!

    https://kultur-bad-vilbel.de/goto/?u=www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-san-marcos-california

    June 17, 2021 at 7:41 am | Reply
  34. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

    http://noexcuselist.com/li/?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-fabrication-repair-near-me

    June 17, 2021 at 4:18 am | Reply
  35. RV Repair Around Me

    This is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate informationÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!

    http://haltern-am-see.de/Inhalte/Startseite/Tourismus/Sport_Freizeit/Vereine/index.asp?db=17&form=RedirectAction&redirecturl=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-awning-repair-near-me/&druckansicht=ja

    June 17, 2021 at 3:19 am | Reply
  36. driving range near me

    https://account.eleavers.com/signup.php?user_type=pub&login_base_url=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 17, 2021 at 2:34 am | Reply
  37. Nearby RV Repairs

    https://www.wittstock.chemie.uni-oldenburg.de/agef/link_extern.html?link=www.ocrvcenter.com/class-c-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 17, 2021 at 1:15 am | Reply
  38. winco near me

    http://yellowpages.thegardenisland.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 17, 2021 at 12:39 am | Reply
  39. dog adoption near me

    Hi! I could have sworn Iíve visited this site before but after going through a few of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím certainly happy I came across it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

    http://elementis-specialities.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  40. shoprite near me

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to write more on this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but typically folks don't discuss these issues. To the next! Best wishes!!

    https://coralculture.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  41. Willie Elrod

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

    June 16, 2021 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  42. vegan restaurants near me

    http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&url=www.ocrvcenter.com/&cc=is

    June 16, 2021 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  43. hardware near me

    After exploring a number of the blog posts on your web page, I really like your way of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website too and tell me how you feel.

    https://cfamilygroup.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  44. auto repair in mesa az

    I've been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It's pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web
    will be much more useful than ever before.

    June 16, 2021 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  45. emissions testing near me

    http://www.x87.cellularoneusa.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  46. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    Very good information. Lucky me I ran across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

    https://cloudsso.hikvision.com/logout?service=http://bonus-books.com/rv-repair-near-me-36/

    June 16, 2021 at 6:27 am | Reply
  47. RV Repair Shop

    Great information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!

    http://marcellusmatters.psu.edu/?URL=ingenieurleistungenreiter.com/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=58960

    June 16, 2021 at 5:30 am | Reply
  48. RV Repair Near Me

    Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog thatís equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

    https://wad.ojooo.com/cks_preview.php?lang=en&url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-repair-near-me-2

    June 16, 2021 at 3:38 am | Reply
  49. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    https://spotlight.radiopublic.com/images/thumbnail?url=http://digitalmarketingbusiness.com/2018/11/08/marketing-director-joe-schaefer-interview-with-rankwatch/

    June 16, 2021 at 3:13 am | Reply
  50. live22 apk

    Vines say that glory primarily signifies an opinion, estimate and hence the honor resulting from a good opinion. Stuttering or increased rate of speech can also possible.
    Many articles have been written to the shortage of nurses.

    June 16, 2021 at 3:12 am | Reply
  51. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    You are so interesting! I don't think I've truly read through anything like that before. So wonderful to discover someone with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

    http://www.kultur-bad-vilbel.de/goto/?u=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-alhambra-california

    June 15, 2021 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  52. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    http://www.meetme.com/apps/redirect/?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-supplies-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  53. Louvenia Heritage

    Usually I do not read article on blogs, but I wish to state that this write-up very compelled me
    to take a look at and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great post.

    June 15, 2021 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  54. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Many thanks!

    https://blog.sina.com.tw/url_verify.php?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-stevenson-ranch-california

    June 15, 2021 at 9:44 am | Reply
  55. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    I was pretty pleased to find this page. I want to to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new information in your site.

    http://doterra.myvoffice.com/Application/index.cfm?&EnrollerID=1&Theme=Default&ReturnUrl=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-imperial-beach-california

    June 15, 2021 at 9:13 am | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.