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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

U.S. Appeals Court Reinstates Wiretap Lawsuit

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit spearheaded by the ACLU that challenges amendments to FISA which give the government power to wiretap non-U.S. citizens overseas with less judicial oversight.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated a 2008 suit on Monday, although the court has not yet weighed in on the merits of the case. The AP reports that “[t]he appeals court noted plaintiffs’ declarations citing individuals whose work might be affected by the eavesdropping procedures. Those individuals included a lawyer for self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed who regularly communicates with Mohammed’s family members, experts and investigators around the world.”

For the full text of all relevant articles, click below: 

Appeals Court in NYC Reinstates Lawsuit Challenging U.S. Right to Eavesdrop on Overseas Chats (AP via WaPo)
Court Revives Suit Over Government Wiretapping Powers (NYT)
U.S. Appeals Court Reinstates Lawsuit Over U.S. Surveillance Overseas (WSJ)


Update: March 23, 2011

The New York Times writes in an editorial Wednesday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was right this week to reinstate a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of amendments to FISA that were passed in 2008.

The Times editorial states that the FISA amendments “permitted the government to listen to the international phone calls of Americans who are not engaged in criminal activity, and to read their e-mail messages. At great cost to the privacy of innocent people, it reduced the longstanding protections of judicial supervision over these powers.”

Despite the fact that the Times notes the government is likely to invoke the state secrets privilege in its defense, the editorial argues that “just by allowing this lawsuit to proceed, the Second Circuit has sent an important message: The government cannot count on simplistic legal arguments to avoid scrutiny of its program to spy on civilians.”

For the full text of the editorial, click below.

Editorial: The Right to Sue Over Wiretapping (NYT)

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