Sources on warrantless wiretapping?
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This is something I haven't been paying much attention to. I was just cleaning out my newspaper stack and came across a WSJ editorial piece in which they said that the gov't tracked numbers you made overseas phone calls to/received overseas calls from. But if they actually tapped you they got a warrant.
However, it's not clear if this is just one of several surveillance programs; also the piece is from May 2006 so there may have been other develpments since then.
Is that what you are looking for?
What the 9th Circuit actually held is that the civil liabilities provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does not apply to the federal government because Congress did not expressly waive the government's sovereign immunity from suit. In other words, if the government has placed an illegal wiretap on your communications, you can sue the individuals who did it, but not the government itself.
Anything that was obtained by the government from those illegal wiretaps would still be inadmissible against the person in a criminal proceeding.
I hope you're right about that.
Even so, I wonder how easy it would be, though, to find out who the particular individuals were.
Further, you presumably know that these are prohibitions only on the use of such evidence in criminal proceedings. Most employers, for instance, have you explicitly waive any expectation of privacy in use of their facilities or even in use of your own facilities while "on the job."
An unrelated third party is, of course, not bound by such prohibitions (but may be separately charged with a crime if they "go too far" and a prosecutor feels like charging them - which no prosecutor will).
I can't find the references right now, but as I recall major ISP hub suppliers were found not liable to civil suit by court decision, although they allowed Bush II to monitor communications across their hubs. The rationale, as I recall, was that the plaintiffs had to show specific damage as a part of their pleadings (which is, frankly, a ridiculous standard). If that is not right, I'd like your sources so I can correct my recollection.