September 26, 2007 | By Kurt Opsahl

Parts of FISA Held Unconstitutional

Today, Judge Ann Aiken of the Oregon Federal District Court ruled that two provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), "50 U.S.C. ?? 1804 and 1823, as amended by the Patriot Act, are unconstitutional because they violate the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution."

This case arose over warrantless surveillance of an innocent Oregon attorney who was falsely suspected of involvement with the Madrid train bombing based on a mistaken fingerprint identification. The critical legal issue was that in the Patriot Act, Congress amended FISA to change the language from requiring "the purpose" of the search or surveillance be to obtain foreign intelligence information to only "a significant purpose" of the search or surveillance. As EFF has previously explained in a case before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, a "long line of court of appeals decisions, before and after FISA, has held that surveillance may be conducted without a traditional warrant and probable cause only when foreign intelligence collection is the "primary purpose" of the surveillance," not merely a "significant purpose."


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

MPAA wants to make websites invisible with one court order to bind them all. https://eff.org/r.unil #SOPApower

Aug 4 @ 11:02am

Germany's Justice Minister says he'll fire the prosecutor behind Netzpolitik.org treason accusations: https://eff.org/r.3fwl

Aug 4 @ 10:21am

Mass surveillance didn’t start with 9/11. Amazing history of Echelon reporting by @dcampbell_iptv: https://eff.org/r.84kk #longreads

Aug 4 @ 9:37am
JavaScript license information