Court Decides Warrantless Wiretapping Is OKS

A US federal appeals court has given the green light for warrantless wiretapping. That means federal government can now spy on communications between America citizens without any warrants—and without fear of being sued, either.

The ruling came Tuesday, Wired reports, in the process reversing the original ruling from the first and only case to successfully challenge the Terrorist Surveillance Program. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote:

"This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs' ongoing attempts to hold the executive branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization."

The case centered around two American attorneys who struggled—but managed—to prove they were spied on without warrants. The court ruled that the pair could "bring a suit for damages against the United States for use of the collected information" but are unable to "bring suit against the government for collection of the information itself." Speaking to Wired, Jon Eisenberg, the lawyer working on behalf of the two attorneys, explained:

"This case was the only chance to litigate and hold anybody accountable for the warrantless wiretapping program. As illegal as it was, it evaded accountability."

All of which means that, from today, federal government can happily spy on anybody's communications without warrants or fear of the consequences. But we didn't tell you that. [Wired]

Image by Tischenko Irina/Shutterstock