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In re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
2015 WL 5637562 (2015)


Facts

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., the National Security Agency (NSA) began a bulk collection of telephone metadata from all domestic telephone calls, including the caller’s and recipient’s numbers; the date, time, and duration of the call; limited location information; and calling-card numbers. The metadata did not include the content of the telephone calls. The NSA received authority for the bulk-collection program from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to § 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), 50 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq., as amended by § 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. Thereafter, the bulk-collection program was renewed several times. However, in 2015, Congress passed the USA FREEDOM Act (Act), which expressly discontinued the bulk-collection program 180 days after the date of enactment. The NSA filed an application with the FISC to continue the bulk-collection program for the 180-day period prior to the operation of the Act. The Center for National Security Studies and others filed a motion opposing the reauthorization of the program.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Mosman, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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