Reprinted from http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/
The secret surveillance court, which authorizes requests for bulk data collection by the National Security Agency under the “business records” provision of the PATRIOT Act, has released a court opinion and order related to a recent request for “certain business records of specified telephone service providers.” The disclosure is, for the most part, unprecedented.
Intelligence agency leaders have scratched their heads and displayed bewilderment when asked if Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions could be made public in some form. They have claimed classified information is so intertwined in opinions that they could not be redacted and released. While this disclosure is not a signal that FISC judges are going to begin to regularly release their opinions to the public voluntarily, it does show that it can be done and there should be no tolerance for excuses that only serve intelligence agencies preference for secrecy.