ACLU asks court to reveal 23 secret surveillance laws

The ACLU and the Yale Law School Media Freedom Clinic have filed a motion demanding the release of 23 judgments from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret, closed courtroom that evaluates surveillance requests from America's spy agencies.

The ACLU says that the 23 decisions -- identified by diligent study of other court records and press reports -- contain "new or significant" interpretations of US surveillance law.


Disclosure of the opinions would shed light on how the government understands the boundaries of its spying power. Earlier this month, for example, after Reuters reported that Yahoo is secretly scanning every customer’s incoming email, anonymous officials told the New York Times that that action was based on an individualized order from the secret court. Disclosure of the order would offer insight into why the government thinks that is legal. Yahoo, for its part, on Wednesday urged the Director of National Intelligence to release and explain the court order in question.

MOTION OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
FOR THE RELEASE OF COURT RECORDS
[UNITED STATES
FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT]

ACLU Wants 23 Secret Surveillance Laws Made Public
[Alex Emmons/The Intercept]

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