University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name In re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things [FISA Docket Misc. 14-01] NS-DC-0071
Docket / Court Misc. 14-01 ( FISC )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- Telephony Metadata
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Case Summary
For the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse collection of FISA matters, see our special collection.

On January 17, 2014, the Director of National Intelligence authorized the declassification and public ... read more >
For the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse collection of FISA matters, see our special collection.

On January 17, 2014, the Director of National Intelligence authorized the declassification and public release of numerous orders approving the National Security Agency's ("NSA") so-called "Bulk Telephony Metadata Program" under Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 ("FISA"), commonly referred to as Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. Press release available here.

Under the program, the NSA has collected records from large telecommunication companies about, apparently, virtually all domestic telephone calls. These records, termed "telephony metadata," include the phone numbers placed and received; the date, time and duration of calls; some location identifiers; and calling card numbers. The records, however, apparently do not include the parties' names, addresses or financial information or the call's content. Once collected, the records are stored for several years and may be queried, used, and disseminated only in accordance with "minimization rules" proposed by the government and approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ("FISC"). The most basic aspect of the minimization rules has been that the metadata records can be queried when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific and articulated facts, that the identifier that will be used as the basis for the query is associated with specified foreign terrorist organizations.

The program began under executive authority alone, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Subsequently, in 2006, the federal government first sought approval of the program from the FISC under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. This Section 215 order must be reviewed and reapproved by the FISC essentially every 90 days. It has been approved dozens of times by many different federal judges, on the FISC, since its initial approval on May 24, 2006 by the FISC. (See BR 06-05, NS-DC-0009 in this Clearinghouse.)

The particular Section 215 order at issue in this case was granted by FISC Judge Mary A. McLaughlin on October 11, 2013, authorizing the Section 215 program until January 3, 2014. The order can be found in BR 13-158, NS-DC-0018 in this Clearinghouse. After the order issued, the Center for National Security Studies filed a motion to establish a public briefing schedule, to submit an amicus curiae brief, and to suggest a hearing before the full FISC. On December 18, 2013, the Court (Judge McLaughlin) granted the Center's motion to file an amicus brief on why FISA Section 501 does not authorize the bulk collection of telephony metadata records, but it denied all other requests. The Court directed the Center to file its amicus brief in this Miscellaneous Docket 14-01 in order to ensure that other FISC judges have access to the brief when considering future applications for metadata collection.

On April 3, 2014, the Center filed a motion in this docket asking the FISC for permission to submit a brief in excess of 15 pages but not exceeding 7,000 words. The Center simultaneously filed its amicus brief. Later that day, the Court issued an order granting the motion and accepting the brief for filing. No further filings or actions have been made public.

Brian Tengel - 03/04/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Warrant/order for search or seizure
General
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Search policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action FISA Title V order (PATRIOT Act § 215, business records or other tangible things), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1861-1862
Defendant(s) None on record
Plaintiff Description U.S. Government, proceeding by an application by the FBI, on behalf of the NSA.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing NS-DC-0018 : In re Application of the FBI for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things From [Redacted], FISA Docket BR 13-158 (FISC)
Additional Resources
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Links Guest Post: New Resource — Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse FISA Archives
Just Security
Posted: Jun. 26, 2014
By: Margo Schlanger
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Order Granting the Government's Motion to Amend the Court's Primary Order Dated January 3, 2014 02/05/2014 (FISC)
NS-DC-0071-0004.pdf | Detail
Response of the United States of America to the Court's March 21, 2014 Opinion and Order 04/02/2014
NS-DC-0071-0005.pdf | Detail
Motion of the Center for National Security Studies for Leave to File Brief of Amicus Curiae Not Exceeding 7000 Words 04/03/2014
NS-DC-0071-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Brief of Amicus Curiae Center for National Security Studies on the Lack of Statutory Authority for this Court's Bulk Telephony Metadata Orders 04/03/2014
NS-DC-0071-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Order Granting Leave for Center for National Security Studies to File Brief of Amicus Curiae Not Exceeding 7000 Words 04/03/2014 (FISC)
NS-DC-0071-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Judges McLaughlin, Mary A. (E.D. Pa., FISC)
NS-DC-0071-0003
Walton, Reggie B. (D.D.C., FISC)
NS-DC-0071-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Carlin, John P. (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0071-0005
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers Borgia, Michael T. (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0071-0001 | NS-DC-0071-0002
Davidson, Michael (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0071-0001 | NS-DC-0071-0002
Martin, Kate (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0071-0001 | NS-DC-0071-0002
Onek, Joseph (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0071-0001 | NS-DC-0071-0002
Smith, Paul M. (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0071-0001 | NS-DC-0071-0002

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