By Allan Lengel
In 2015, in her first appearance as a “friend of the court” representing the American public, Amy Jeffress, a former federal prosecutor, argued before the very secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, that the FBI was violating the Fourth Amendment by giving agents “virtually unrestricted” access to data from one of the NSA’s largest surveillance programs that included untold amounts of communications involving innocent Americans, reports Alex Emmons of the the website, Intercept.
One big problem is that while the program is supposed to target foreigners, it ends up capturing a large number of communications from Americans.
“There need be no connection to foreign intelligence or national security, and that is the purpose of the collection,” Emmons told Thomas Hogan, then the chief judge of the court. “So they’re overstepping, really, the purpose for which the information is collected.”
The ACLU released this information on Friday after obtaining it through the Freedom of Information Act, Intercept reports.
The peek behind the curtain shows the ongoing battle between keeping America safe and protecting peoples’ privacy and Constitutional rights.