Could/Maybe should start a new discussion but since this posting and the questions I have posted here are directly related to this discussion....
Several blog postings over the last 3 days have referred to the Patriot act as the "authorization" for spying and or the collection of Meta-data
Several of them referred to Title 50 › Chapter 36 › Subchapter IV › § 1861
Access to certain business records for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations
(a) Application for order; conduct of investigation generally
(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.
(2) An investigation conducted under this section shall—
(A) be conducted under guidelines approved by the Attorney General under Executive Order 12333 (or a successor order); and
(B) not be conducted of a United States person solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(b) Recipient and contents of application
Each application under this section—
(1) shall be made to—
(A) a judge of the court established by section 1803 (a) of this title; or
(B) a United States Magistrate Judge under chapter 43 of title 28, who is publicly designated by the Chief Justice of the United States to have the power to hear applications and grant orders for the production of tangible things under this section on behalf of a judge of that court; and
(2) shall include—
(A) a statement of facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the tangible things sought are relevant to an authorized investigation (other than a threat assessment) conducted in accordance with subsection (a)(2) to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, such things being presumptively relevant to an authorized investigation if the applicant shows in the statement of the facts that they pertain to—
(i) a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
(ii) the activities of a suspected agent of a foreign power who is the subject of such authorized investigation; or
(iii) an individual in contact with, or known to, a suspected agent of a foreign power who is the subject of such authorized investigation; and
(B) an enumeration of the minimization procedures adopted by the Attorney General under subsection (g) that are applicable to the retention and dissemination by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of any tangible things to be made available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation based on the order requested in such application.
Where under this section of the USCode does it give NSA/FBI/DHS the authority to go on "fishing expeditions" (my description of the collection of Meta-data)?
Why are these fishing expeditions classified? little own classified at the Top Secret Level, we as a society do not classify search warrents at the local level for criminal activity.
Has anyone questioned the legality in the federal court systems of this section on disclosure?
(1) No person shall disclose to any other person that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things pursuant to an order under this section, other than to—
(A) those persons to whom disclosure is necessary to comply with such order;
(B) an attorney to obtain legal advice or assistance with respect to the production of things in response to the order; or
(C) other persons as permitted by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director.