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Case Name In re Applications of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Orders Requiring the Production of Tangible Things [BR 15-77 & 15-78] NS-DC-0087
Docket / Court BR 15-77 & 15-78 ( 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
In 2015, the U.S. government submitted these two applications to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (as amended by Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act of 2001) for "business records" orders. This case does not ... read more >
In 2015, the U.S. government submitted these two applications to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (as amended by Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act of 2001) for "business records" orders. This case does not appear to involve the bulk production of telephone records as in FISA Docket BR 15-75 (NS-DC-0086 in this Clearinghouse). The factual details of the applications remain classified, but this case is relevant as it is the first FISC interpretation of Section 501, as amended, following the passage of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 on June 2, 2015.

Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which authorized FISC to issue orders for the production of business records, expired on June 1, 2015. Instead of re-authorizing Section 215, Congress passed the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015. The USA FREEDOM Act did not explicitly re-authorize Section 215—instead, the Act amended the expiration date found in the sunset provision of Section 215 to December 15, 2019. The Act also provided for the appointment of amicus curiae in the FISC under certain circumstances. The central legal issue was whether the USA FREEDOM Act effectively restored Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, or whether instead Section 501 of FISA should revert back to its pre-PATRIOT status.

In his June 17, 2015 opinion in this matter, FISC Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV decided two issues. First, Judge Saylor held that an amicus curiae was not required, determining that "the appropriate outcome is sufficiently clear, such that no reasonable jurist would reach a different decision." Second, Judge Saylor held that the USA FREEDOM Act did reinstate the FISC's authority to issue business records orders, determining that it was the intent of Congress to do so based on the amendment of Section 215's sunset provision.

The second part of Judge Saylor's holding was the basis of the FISC's decision in FISA Docket BR 15-75 (NS-DC-0086 in this Clearinghouse) re-authorizing the bulk collection of telephony metadata under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

John He - 03/21/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
None on record
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 none recorded
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party None on record
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Case Listing NS-DC-0086 : In re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [redacted] [BR 15-75] (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
Memorandum Opinion 06/17/2015 (FISC)
NS-DC-0087-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Judges Saylor, F. Dennis IV (D. Mass., FISC)
NS-DC-0087-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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