The U.S. Supreme court rejected a challenge to the law that allows the Federal Government to wiretap Americans’ international communications. The 2008 amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Services Act (FISA) currently allows the government to electronically monitor citizens with out a warrant if foreign intelligence is thought to be involved.
In a report by Mashable, the 5-4 decision split has many worrying about the future of America’s civil liberties.
The American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer called the decision “disturbing.”
“The FISA Amendments Act is a sweeping surveillance statute with far-reaching implications for Americans’ privacy,” said Jaffer in a statement. “This ruling insulates the statute from meaningful judicial review and leaves Americans’ privacy rights to the mercy of the political branches.”
The justices based their ruling on the suits argument stating that a Fourth Amendment violation might happen in the future and therefore there was no current violation proven. However, justices with the dissenting opinion were very clear on future implications.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote in a dissenting opinion that such theoretical harm is “as likely to take place as are most future events that common-sense inference and ordinary knowledge of human nature tell us will happen.”
The FISA is supported by those who see it as a legislative weapon against suspected terrorist and was extended 5 more years in December 2012 by Congress.