“Relevant” to the investigation of a terror threat? Would someone please justify how the metadata from all those calls are each relevant to an investigation, or shall we simply acceded that “relevant” is whatever the hell a surveillance agency says it is? This is the thorny question adroitly & eagerly ignored by Obama (edit) anti terror policy supporters. (Sometimes brevity is not my friend)
The President Barack Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to reject a challenge to the National Security Agency’s once-secret telephone metadata spying program.
One of the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act — Section 215 — allows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to authorize broad warrants for most any type of records, including those held by banks, doctors and phone companies. Lawmakers have repeatedly voted to prevent the act from expiring. The government only needs to show that the information is “relevant” to an authorized investigation. No connection to a terrorist or spy is required. A 1976 purse snatching paved the legal route to the program.
In its petition, EPIC claims that all calling records cannot be relevant to an investigation.