Secretive Surveillance Court Creates Body of Law Separate From One on The Books
The public is getting a peek into the little-known workings of a powerful and mostly invisible government entity. And it is seeing a court whose secret rulings have in effect created a body of law separate from the one on the books ‚ÄĒ one that gives U.S. spy agencies the authority to collect bulk information about Americans‚Äô medical care, firearms purchases, credit card usage and other interactions with business and commerce, according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
‚ÄúThe government can get virtually anything,‚ÄĚ said Wyden, who as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is allowed to read many of the court‚Äôs classified rulings. ‚ÄúHealth, guns, credit cards ‚ÄĒ my reading is not what has been done, it‚Äôs what can be done.‚ÄĚ
One person close to the court, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secretive body, said the newly revealed orders indicate a shift in which the court blesses the...