General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Do you agree that a lawsuit challenging the interception of Internet communications without a warrant based on a Fourth Amendment claim would necessarily have to be dismissed to protect secret information that would damage national security if released? [Details] [Translation] [Source]?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) February 11th, 2015

First, source

The US public cannot sue the NSA for ‘warrantless searches and seizures’ under the 4th Amendment if the data the NSA collected is so sensitive that it would be a national security risk to reveal the information and methodology in court.

How’s that for a Catch 22?

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9 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

See, that’s the beauty of this sort of defense. “we spy on you for security reasons, but we can’t tell you why because it would damage national security” It’s perfect!

elbanditoroso's avatar

Looks like the copy/paste didn’t work particularly well this morning.

Look, the Feds were going to ignore (or quash, or disregard) any lawsuit that takes away their right to bug and eavesdrop.

I applaud the ACLU and the EFF and anyone else who wants to fight it, but the fix is in.

(STASI – KGB – GRU – and the NSA is as ugly and reprehensible as any of them.)

stanleybmanly's avatar

It would appear that there’s a concerted effort to ratchet up measures leading to the realization of the “security state”. Fan the panic flames of terrorism to increase public paranoia, then utilize the fear to suspend civil liberties and established legal precedents. Placard the slogan “national security” piously and often to convince the sheep that they are being manipulated and controlled for their own good. Maintain the flock in a perpetual state of fright and the very idea of dissent can be passed off as “a threat to national security.”

jaytkay's avatar

I don’t know the particulars of this case.

But of course there are times when national security will override normal discovery.

Do you think you should be able to sue and get launch codes for nuclear missiles, or the names of informants inside al Qaeda?

Also, in this particular case, the judge has information we don’t. The government had to make its case to him, even though the details aren’t public.

Darth_Algar's avatar


The OP isn’t talking about getting missile codes or the names of double agents. He’s talking about gross violations of Constitutional rights under the guise of “national security”.

jaytkay's avatar

@Darth_Algar regardless, the argument is that suing the NSA requires them to always divulge all aspects of their operations.

Darth_Algar's avatar


I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Regardless, missile codes and secret agents don’t fall under the NSA’s domain anyway. It isn’t as if ruling that the NSA’s warrantless searches are unconstitutional will jeopardize national security or make all aspects of national security and defense public domain.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@jaytkay It’s one thing to rule certain evidence beyond public revelation, but quite another to state that the agency is therefore immune to suit.

Zaku's avatar

NO! It’s Orwellian-grade BULL EXCREMENT!

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