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Top US court rejects spying case
Headline Topics | 2008/02/19 13:48
pThe US Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge to a domestic anti-terrorism eavesdropping programme.
President George W Bush authorised the monitoring, without a court order, of international phone calls and e-mails of US citizens after the 9/11 attacks. /ppThe American Civil Liberties Union argued that Mr Bush did not have the constitutional authority to order the programme, which ended last year. /ppThe Supreme Court gave no explanation for its ruling. /ppstrongLegality questioned/strong pThe domestic spying programme was denounced by Democrats and rights activists when it was disclosed in 2005. pA group of civil liberties activists, journalists, academics and lawyers challenged the spying programme in the courts, arguing it violated a 1978 rule prohibiting surveillance of American citizens on US soil without a warrant. pIn July last year, an appeals court struck down a lower court's ruling that found the programme to be unconstitutional. pThe appeals court, based in Cincinnati, dismissed the case because the plaintiffs had failed to show that their communications had been monitored. pBut the Cincinnati judges did not rule on the legality or otherwise of the programme. pThe president rejected claims that he broke the law by ordering surveillance without first securing warrants. He argued the eavesdropping programme was necessary and was targeted against al-Qaeda. pThe Bush administration has so far refused to release documents about the programme that might reveal who was under surveillance. /pp
/p


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