Phone company fought NSA — and lost

by
April 26, 2014

A phone company challenged the government’s bulk collection of people’s phone records but was denied earlier this year, according to top-secret court documents declassified on Friday.

The company, whose name was redacted in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) documents, petitioned the court in January to “vacate, modify or affirm the current production order” in light of a December court ruling that determined the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone records program was likely unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court “Judge [Richard] Leon’s Memorandum Opinion introduces, for the first time, a question about the legal validity of an order issued by this Court,” the unnamed company wrote in its January petition. “In light of Judge Leon’s Opinion, it is appropriate [redacted] inquire directly of the Court into the legal basis” for its order to hand over people’s call records.

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