Thursday, July 26, 2012
by: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] Finally, a federal court has ruled that the government has overstepped its constitutional bounds that are supposed to curb its ability to spy on citizens.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled recently that the National Security Agency – the nation’s premier global spy – has, “on at least one occasion,” violated the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
The ruling from the secret U.S. national security court is the first time the federal government has acknowledged its spy activities overstepped legal parameters since passage of a law in 2008 “that overhauled surveillance laws following the uproar over the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program in the George W. Bush Administration,”The Wall Street Journal reported.
The finding of the court was disclosed in a letter from a top aide to National Intelligence Director James Clapper, to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the latter is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a potent critic of the law which permits warrantless wiretaps.
The aide, Kathleen Turner, a senior official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said in the letter that the agency had “remedied” the problem which led to the violation. She also said subsequent surveillance requests had been approved by the court.
‘Transparency, compliance, oversight’
In commenting about the ruling, Wyden said the government had at times “circumvented the spirit of the law” in conducting its surveillance and wiretapping operations. He noted the national security court has agreed on at least one occasion.
“Many officials have tried to present a picture of careful compliance with both the law and the constitutional rights of Americans,” he said, WSJ reported. “This information shows that hasn’t always been the case and there have been what I consider to be some serious violations.”