Case: In re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [Redacted], FISA BR 14-96

14-00096 | U.S. District Court for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Filed Date: June 19, 2014

Closed Date: Sept. 12, 2014

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 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. Und…

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.)

This matter is a continuation of the Section 215 program from June 19, 2014, to September 12, 2014. On June 19, 2014, FISC Judge James B. Zagel issued the primary order authorizing the collection under specified procedures. The previous order was BR 14-67, NS-DC-0055 in this Clearinghouse. As usual, this order includes "minimization" procedures that impose a variety of limits on the NSA's use of the telephony metadata. The minimization procedures enumerated in this order are the same as those in the previous order.

Judge Zagel wrote in his order that his approval of this application meant that he agreed with previous decisions of the FISC in BR 13-158, NS-DC-0018, in this Clearinghouse, which held that under the controlling precedent of Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979), the production of call detail records in this matter did not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment. With respect to the statutory requirements for the issuance of orders for the collection of bulk telephony metadata, Judge Zagel adopted the analysis put forth by Judge Claire Eagan in her August 29 Opinion in BR 13-109, NS-DC-0017, in this Clearinghouse.

On June 26, 2014, FISC Judge Thomas F. Hogan ordered the publication of the June 19 Memorandum Opinion and Primary Order after the government reviewed and redacted the document.

The next FISC order dealing with the 215 bulk telephony metadata program is BR 14-125, NS-DC-0067 in this Clearinghouse.

Summary Authors

Jessica Kincaid (7/1/2014)

Brian Tengel (2/24/2015)

Edward Cullen (2/22/2019)

Related Cases

In Re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an order requiring the production of tangible things from [redacted information] FISA Docket BR 06-05, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (2006)

In re Application of the FBI for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things From [Redacted], FISA Docket BR 13-109, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (2013)

In re Application of the FBI for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things From [Redacted], FISA Docket BR 13-158, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (2013)

In re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [Redacted], FISC BR 14-67, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (2014)

In re Application of the FBI for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [Redacted]. FISA Docket BR 14-125, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (2014)

People


Judge(s)

Hogan, Thomas Francis (District of Columbia)

Zagel, James Block (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Hogan, Thomas Francis (District of Columbia)

Zagel, James Block (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Memorandum Opinion

In re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [Redacted]

2014 WL 5463290

June 19, 2014 Order/Opinion

Order Directing Declassification of Redacted Opinion and Primary Order

In re Application of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an Order Requiring the Production of Tangible Things from [Redacted]

June 26, 2014 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- Telephony Metadata

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 19, 2014

Closing Date: Sept. 12, 2014

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Government (FBI) seeking a FISA order relating to bulk telephony metadata.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Case Details

Causes of Action:

FISA Title V order (PATRIOT Act § 215, business records or other tangible things), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1861-1862

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Warrant/Order allowing surveillance

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 2014 - 2014

Content of Injunction:

Monitoring

Recordkeeping

Required disclosure

Warrant/order for search or seizure

Issues

General:

Confidentiality

Record-keeping

Records Disclosure

Search policies

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues