The American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Clinic on Monday filed a motion with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, seeking “the release of secret court opinions that permit the government to acquire Americans’ phone records en masse,” the ACLU said in a statement.
The motion came in response to last week’s disclosure in The Guardian newspaper of a FISC order compelling a Verizon subsidiary to turn over all call records on its network during a three-month period.
“The public is entitled to know the legal basis for such a program and the legal interpretation of Section 215 that supports the government’s demand for a complete log of all our phone calls,” the ACLU said in a statement. “As the ACLU lays out in its motion for release of these FISC opinions, the public has a First Amendment right to judicial opinions interpreting laws like Section 215. We can have an informed debate about the wisdom of this law only if we know what our courts have taken it to mean and why.”