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DOJ seeks court permission to continue NSA surveillance program

[JURIST] Arguing that the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] is a necessary weapon in the war on terror, the US Department of Justice Friday filed a motion in federal court asking the court to delay enforcement of an order requiring the NSA to immediately cease using warrantless wiretaps to monitor domestic phone conversations. In August US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled the program unconstitutional [JURIST report; opinion, PDF text] as a violation of privacy rights, and issued a permanent injunction [PDF text] compelling the government to immediately cease using warrantless wiretaps to intercept communications of suspected terrorists where one party to the communication is inside the US. The motion also argues that the injunction is overly broad because it blocks the entire NSA wiretapping program without excepting elements of the program that may not involve surveillance of domestic callers.

The DOJ has appealed the ruling to the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals [court website], and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented the plaintiffs [ACLU case materials] in the case, has agreed to delay enforcement of the injunction until September 7, when Taylor is scheduled to hear arguments on whether the government should be granted a stay to continue the program until the appeals process is exhausted. AP has more.

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