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 â€” one that gives U.S. spy agencies the authority to collect bulk information about Americansâ€™ medical care, firearms purchases, credit card usage and other interactions with business and commerce, according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
â€śThe government can get virtually anything,â€ť said Wyden, who as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is allowed to read many of the courtâ€™s classified rulings. â€śHealth, guns, credit cards â€” my reading is not what has been done, itâ€™s what can be done.â€ť
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...