Feature

Warrantless snooping can continue

The Supreme Court let stand a federal law that gives the government broad powers to eavesdrop on Americans’ international phone calls and emails.

The Supreme Court this week let stand a federal law that gives the government broad powers to eavesdrop on Americans’ international phone calls and emails. In a 5-4 ruling, the court refused to hear the plaintiffs’ claims that the law violates constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Congress passed the law in 2008 after The New York Times revealed that the Bush administration had authorized the National Security Agency to carry out warrantless surveillance following the Sept. 11 attacks. The court ruled that since such surveillance was secret, the plaintiffs could not prove they had been eavesdropped on, and so lacked the standing to challenge the law. 

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