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Government Surveillance

CDT Comment on Declassified Primary FISA Court Order

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence today declassified a number of documents related to the collection of telephone metadata under section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. CDT has issued the following response, specifically in reference to the primary FISA court order that was publicly released.

“The order shows that the NSA use of the telephone calling information proceeds on autopilot — without FISA Court intervention — once a broad order is issued. The government, not the FISA Court, decides whether a particular person’s phone number, and the phone numbers of everyone associated with that person, will be investigated through queries of this vast database,” said Leslie Harris, CDT President & CEO. “It is time to close down this disturbing process that clearly puts privacy and civil liberties on the back burner.”