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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Al-Haramain v. Bush - Judge Walker Opinion on FISA [Doc 453]

Source: http://www.eff.org/files/Al-HaraFISA-order.pdf

Article: New NSA Spying Decision Undermines Arguments for Telecom Immunity



   Case M:06-cv-01791-VRW   Document 453       Filed 07/02/2008   Page 1 of 56



                      IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
                    FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

    IN RE:                                         MDL Docket No 06-1791 VRW
    NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY                       ORDER
    TELECOMMUNICATIONS RECORDS
    LITIGATION



    This order pertains to:



    Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation et
    al v Bush et al (C-07-0109 VRW),

                                           /


               The court of appeals has remanded the above case for this
    court "to consider whether FISA preempts the state secrets
    privilege and for any proceedings collateral to that
    determination."    Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc v Bush, 507
    F3d 1190, 1206 (9th Cir 2007).

               Plaintiffs' complaint alleges six causes of action of
    which the first is under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,
    50 USC �� 1801-71 ("FISA").     In that claim, plaintiffs allege in
    pertinent part:

              Defendants' engagement in electronic surveillance to
              monitor conversations between and among plaintiffs as
              targeted persons without obtaining prior court
              authorization, and defendants' subsequent use of the
              information obtained against plaintiffs, is in
              violation of the civil and criminal provisions of

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              FISA. As a result, all evidence obtained by this
              illegal surveillance must be suppressed pursuant to
              50 USC � 1806(g). Further, plaintiffs are entitled
              to liquidated and punitive damages pursuant to 50 USC
              � 1810.

    Complaint, Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc v Bush, No C 06-0274
    KI Doc # 1 � 27, United States District Court for the District of
    Oregon, filed February 28, 2006.

               Plaintiffs' other causes of action are for alleged
    violations of the "separation of powers" principle in the
    Constitution, the First, Fourth and Sixth amendments and the
    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.   But it is to
    plaintiffs' FISA claims that the parties have directed their
    arguments and the court of appeals its attention.   All of
    plaintiffs' claims would appear to depend on FISA.  This order,
    therefore, devotes itself exclusively to FISA and the question
    posed by the court of appeals remand.

               For the reasons stated herein, the court has determined
    that: (1) FISA preempts the state secrets privilege in connection
    with electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes and would
    appear to displace the state secrets privilege for purposes of
    plaintiffs' claims; and (2) FISA nonetheless does not appear to
    provide plaintiffs a viable remedy unless they can show that they
    are "aggrieved persons" within the meaning of FISA.  The lack of
    precedents interpreting the remedial provisions of FISA, the
    failure of the parties to consider the import of FISA preemption
    and the undeveloped factual record in this case warrant allowing
    plaintiffs to attempt to make that showing and, therefore, support
    dismissal of the FISA claim with leave to amend.
    \\

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                                           I
               Plaintiffs are the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc, an
    Oregon non-profit corporation, and two of its individual attorneys,
    Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, both United States citizens
    ("plaintiffs").    Plaintiffs brought suit in the United States
    District Court for the District of Oregon against "George W Bush,
    President of the United States, National Security Agency, Keith B
    Alexander, its Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control, an office
    of the United States Treasury, Robert W Werner, its Director,
    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S Mueller, III, its
    Director" ("defendants").     Complaint at 1.

               Along with their complaint, plaintiffs filed under seal a
    copy of a classified document that had inadvertently been disclosed
    by defendant Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") to counsel
    for Al-Haramain as part of a production of unclassified documents
    relating to Al-Haramain's potential status as a "specially
    designated global terrorist."  Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc
    v Bush, 451 F Supp 2d 1215, 1218 (D Or 2006).1    This document,
    which has proven central to all phases of this litigation including
    the issues now before this court, will be referred to herein as the
    "Sealed Document."

               The complaint alleges that the National Security Agency
    ("NSA") conducted warrantless electronic surveillance of
    communications between a director or directors of Al-Haramain and

         1
          On June 19, 2008, the United States Department of the Treasury
    designated "the entirety" of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation including
    its headquarters in Saudi Arabia, having previously designated branch
    offices in thirteen individual countries, including the United States.
    See http://www.treasury.gov/press/releases/hp1043.htm.

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    the two attorney plaintiffs without regard to the procedures
    required by FISA, that the NSA turned over logs from this
    surveillance to OFAC and that OFAC then consequently froze
    Al-Haramain's assets.     Id.

                 The Oregon district court entertained motions by the
    Oregonian Publishing Company to intervene in the suit and unseal
    records, by plaintiffs to compel discovery of information about the
    electronic surveillance of plaintiffs and regarding the reasons for
    classifying the Sealed Document and by defendants to prevent
    plaintiffs' access to the Sealed Document and to dismiss or, in the
    alternative, for summary judgment based on the state secrets
    privilege.

                 On September 7, 2006, the Oregon district court issued a
    lengthy opinion and order.   Several points in that order remain
    salient to the matter now before this court.  The court held that
    "plaintiffs need some information in the Sealed Document to
    establish their standing and a prima facie case, and they have no
    other available source for this information." Id at 1221.  It also
    held that given defendants' many public acknowledgments of the
    warrantless electronic surveillance program beginning in 2005, the
    program was not a secret.  Id at 1221-23.  It rejected defendants'
    contention that litigation concerning the program would necessarily
    compromise national security and held that, contrary to defendants'
    contention, "the very subject matter of the case" was not a state
    secret.  It ordered plaintiffs to deliver to the court all copies
    of the Sealed Document in their possession or under their control,
    to be deposited in the sealed compartmentalized information
    facility ("SCIF") provided by the Portland FBI office for the

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    storage of classified documents.  Id at 1229.  It denied without
    prejudice plaintiffs' request for discovery and denied the
    Oregonian's motion to unseal records.  Id at 1232.

               The Oregon district court ruled that there was "no
    reasonable danger that the national security would be harmed if it
    is confirmed or denied that plaintiffs were subject to
    surveillance, but only as to the surveillance event or events
    disclosed in the Sealed Document" while also ruling that
    "disclosing whether plaintiffs were subject to any other
    surveillance efforts could harm the national security."  Id at 1224
    (emphasis added).  On the rationale that plaintiffs should be
    allowed to proceed based on the surveillance already disclosed to
    them, substantiated by evidence in a form yet to be determined, the
    court denied defendants' motion to dismiss: "plaintiffs should have
    an opportunity to establish standing and make a prima facie case,
    even if they must do so in camera."  Id at 1226-27.

               The Oregon district court declined to reach one further
    issue presented to it by the parties----the issue this court is
    charged to decide on remand from the court of appeals:

              Plaintiffs argue * * * that FISA preempts the
              state secrets privilege. Specifically, plaintiffs
              argue that FISA vests the courts with control over
              materials relating to electronic surveillance,
              subject to "appropriate security procedures and
              protective orders." 50 USC �1806(f). As a
              result, plaintiffs contend that Section 1806(f)
              renders the state secrets privilege superfluous in
              FISA litigation.
    Id at 1229.

               The Oregon district court summarized defendants' argument
    to be that section 1806(f) only benefits the government----that it
    exists, in essence, for the sole purpose of providing for in camera

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    review of documents and information the government intends to use
    against a criminal defendant.  The Oregon district court quoted
    section 1810, FISA's civil liability provision, together with
    FISA's definition of an "aggrieved person" entitled to sue under
    section 1810 (see infra Part III) and observed: "[t]o accept the
    government's argument that Section 1806(f) is only applicable when
    the government intends to use information against a party would
    nullify FISA's private remedy and would be contrary to the plain
    language of Section 1806(f)."   Id at 1231 (emphasis added).

               Concluding that "[t]he question becomes then whether
    Section 1806(f) preempts the state secrets privilege," the Oregon
    district court wrote, "I decline to reach this very difficult
    question at this time, which involves whether Congress preempted
    what the government asserts is a constitutionally-based privilege."
    Id.  The Oregon district court certified its other rulings for
    immediate appeal.  Defendants appealed and, during the pendency of
    the appeal, this case was reassigned by the Judicial Panel on
    Multidistrict Litigation ("MDL") to the undersigned.

               The court of appeals granted interlocutory review and
    consolidated the appeal in this matter with the interlocutory
    appeal from an order by the undersigned concerning the state
    secrets privilege and related issues in Hepting v AT&T Corp, 439 F
    Supp 2d 974 (N D Cal 2006).  The cases were argued on the same day
    before the same panel, but the court of appeals later determined
    that "the claimed facts and circumstances of each case are
    distinct" and entered an order concurrently with the opinion in the
    instant matter stating that "the cases are no longer consolidated
    for any purpose."  507 F3d at 1196 n 3.  The court of appeals

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    subsequently issued an order withdrawing the submission of the
    Hepting appeal; that matter remains on appeal.  Order, Hepting v
    AT&T Corporation, Inc, No 06-17137 Doc #128, United States Court of
    Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, filed November 16, 2007.

               In its opinion in this case, the court of appeals
    determined that review of a district court's rulings on the state
    secrets privilege should be de novo, having previously only
    "intimated" as much.  507 F3d at 1196.  After considering the
    history of the state secrets privilege, the court of appeals
    considered three contentions by the government on appeal: (1) the
    very subject matter of the litigation is a state secret; (2)
    Al-Haramain cannot establish standing to bring suit, absent the
    Sealed Document; and (3) Al-Haramain cannot establish a prima facie
    case, and the government cannot defend against Al-Haramain's
    assertions, without resorting to state secrets.  In a footnote, the
    court of appeals observed that the third issue had not been
    addressed by the district court.  507 F3d at 1197 & n 4.

               As to the first issue, the court of appeals made note of
    the government's extensive, intentional public disclosures by
    President George W Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and
    especially General Michael V Hayden, which had "provided to the
    American public a wealth of information about the [Terrorist
    Surveillance Program]," and declined to follow either Kasza v
    Browner, 133 F3d 1159 (9th Cir 1998) or El-Masri v United States,
    479 F3d 296 (4th Cir 2007), both cases in which dismissals based on
    the state secrets privilege were affirmed on appeal.  The court
    held that while Al-Haramain's case involved privileged information,
    "that fact alone does not render the very subject matter of the

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    action a state secret" and affirmed the district court's denial of
    dismissal on that basis.  507 F3d at 1201.

               Before turning to the second issue on appeal, the court of
    appeals next considered whether the state secrets privilege had been
    properly invoked and determined that it had.   Based on that
    determination, the court of appeals concluded that Al-Haramain's
    "showing of necessity" or "admittedly substantial need for the
    document to establish its case," United States v Reynolds, 345 US 1,
    10 (1953), required an in camera review of the Sealed Document.  507
    F3d at 1203.  After describing in general terms the nature of the in
    camera review, the court wrote:  "We are satisfied that the basis
    for the privilege is exceptionally well documented" and that
    disclosure of "information concerning the Sealed Document and the
    means, sources and methods of intelligence gathering in the context
    of this case would undermine the government's intelligence
    capabilities and compromise national security."  507 F3d at 1204.
    The court of appeals then held that the Oregon district court's
    compromise allowing plaintiffs to submit sealed affidavits attesting
    to the contents of the document from their memories was "contrary to
    established Supreme Court precedent"---- specifically Reynolds, 345 US
    at 11----and wrote that "the state secrets privilege * * * does not
    lend itself to a compromise solution in this case."  Id.

               Regarding use of the Sealed Document in this litigation,
    the court of appeals held:  "The Sealed Document, its contents, and
    any individuals' memories of its contents, even well-reasoned
    speculation as to its contents, are completely barred from further
    disclosure in this litigation by the common law state secrets
    privilege."  Id.

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               Having thus dealt with the first issue, the court of
    appeals turned to the government's second issue on appeal----Al-
    Haramain's standing----and held that plaintiffs could not establish
    standing to proceed with their lawsuit without the Sealed Document
    because they could not establish a "concrete and particularized"
    injury-in-fact under the principles of Lujan v Defenders of
    Wildlife, 504 US 555 (1992):  "Al-Haramain cannot establish that it
    has standing, and its claims must be dismissed, unless FISA
    preempts the state secrets privilege."  507 F3d 1205.

               Citing Singleton v Wulff, 428 US 106 (1976), that a court
    of appeals should not ordinarily consider an issue not ruled on in
    the district court, the court of appeals declined to decide whether
    FISA preempts the state secrets privilege.   Instead, writing that
    "the FISA issue remains central to Al-Haramain's ability to proceed
    with this lawsuit," it remanded the case to this court to consider
    that question "and for any proceedings collateral to that
    determination." 507 F3d at 1206.  The court of appeals did not
    consider the consequences of FISA preempting the state secrets
    privilege and the implications of such a determination for possible
    use in this litigation of the Sealed Document.

               In accordance with orders entered at a status conference
    in this matter on February 7, 2008, defendants filed a second motion
    to dismiss plaintiffs' claims on the grounds that FISA does not
    preempt the state secrets privilege and that plaintiffs lack
    standing to seek prospective relief and are barred from seeking
    relief under FISA by the doctrine of sovereign immunity.  Doc
    \\
    \\

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   #432/17.2   Plaintiffs filed an opposition (Doc #435/20) and the
   court accepted two amicus briefs, one by plaintiffs in other MDL
   cases and the other by certain telecommunications defendants in the
   MDL cases (Doc ##440/23 & 442/25).

                                         II
                                         A

               The enactment of FISA was the fruition of a period of
   intense public and Congressional interest in the problem of
   unchecked domestic surveillance by the executive branch.  In 1975,
   Congress formed the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental
   Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities known as the
   "Church Committee" for its chairman, Senator Frank Church, to
   investigate alleged intelligence-gathering abuses in the domestic
   sphere by the various executive branch agencies with intelligence-
   gathering authority.  The Church Committee's two-volume final report
   was transmitted to Congress in 1976; the following passage from
   among the report's conclusions and recommendations illustrates the
   tone and substance of the findings:

               Our findings and the detailed reports which
               supplement this volume set forth a massive record of
               intelligence abuses over the years. Through the use
               of a vast network of informants, and through the
               uncontrolled or illegal use of intrusive
               techniques----ranging from simple theft to
               sophisticated electronic surveillance----the Government
               has collected, and then used improperly, huge amounts
               of information about the private lives, political
               beliefs and associations of numerous Americans.


        2
          Citations to documents in the docket of this case will be cited both
   to the MDL docket (No M 06-1791 VRW) and to the individual docket (No C 07-
   0109) in the following format: Doc #xxx/yy.

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   Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with
   Respect to Intelligence Activities ("Church Committee Report") Book
   II:   Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, S Rep No
   94-755, 290 (1976).

               The Church Committee Report further concluded that
   "intelligence activities have undermined the constitutional rights
   of citizens and that they have done so primarily because checks and
   balances designed by the framers of the Constitution to assure
   accountability have not been applied."  Id at 289.  The Church
   Committee Report set the stage for Congress to begin the effort to
   enact comprehensive legislation to address the intelligence-related
   abuses identified therein.  That effort began in the very next
   Congress.

               In 1978, after the introduction of several competing bills
   and extensive deliberation and debate, Congress enacted FISA.  To
   summarize FISA's provisions in a brief and general manner, FISA set
   out in detail roles for all three branches of government, providing
   judicial and congressional oversight of the covert surveillance
   activities by the executive branch combined with measures to
   safeguard secrecy necessary to protect national security.  FISA set
   out procedures by which the executive branch could undertake
   electronic surveillance and physical searches for foreign
   intelligence purposes in the domestic sphere.   Any application for
   electronic surveillance was required, among other things, to
   establish probable cause justifying the surveillance, describe the
   information being sought and aver that the information could not be
   obtained through normal investigative techniques.   50 USC � 1804(a).
   \\

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             FISA also provided for the creation of two courts staffed
   by federal judges to conduct sealed proceedings to consider requests
   by the government for warrants to conduct foreign intelligence
   surveillance.  50 USC �� 1803(a),(b).  The Foreign Intelligence
   Surveillance Court ("FISC") was established to consider applications
   in the first instance, with the Court of Review reviewing denials of
   applications by the FISC and the Supreme Court acting as the final
   appellate court.  Id.  FISA allowed the United States attorney
   general to authorize electronic surveillances in emergency
   situations without FISC approval if the appropriate judge was
   informed and an application made within twenty-four hours after
   authorization.  50 USC �� 1802, 1805(f).

             FISA provided for continuing oversight of the government's
   foreign intelligence surveillance activities by Congress, requiring
   regular, highly detailed reports to Congress of all actions taken
   under FISA.  E g, 50 USC �� 1808, 1826.  The reporting requirements
   are discussed in more detail in Part III A below.

             Of special relevance to the court's present inquiry,
   Congress included in the FISA bill a declaration that the FISA
   regime, together with the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act
   of 1968 codified at chapter 119 of Title 18 of the United States
   Code, 18 USC �� 2510-22 ("Title III"), were to be the "exclusive
   means" by which domestic electronic surveillance for national
   security purposes could be conducted:

             procedures in this chapter or chapter 121 and the
             Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be
             the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance,
             as defined in section 101 of such Act, and the
             interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic
             communications may be conducted.


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   18 USC � 2511(2)(f).  This provision and its legislative history
   left no doubt that Congress intended to displace entirely the
   various warrantless wiretapping and surveillance programs undertaken
   by the executive branch and to leave no room for the president to
   undertake warrantless surveillance in the domestic sphere in the
   future.

             The Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
   stated that the FISA bill's "exclusive means" statement "puts to
   rest the notion that Congress recognizes an inherent Presidential
   power to conduct such surveillances in the United States outside of
   the procedures contained in chapters 119 and 120."  Foreign
   Intelligence Surveillance Act, S Rep No 95-701, 95th Cong 2d Sess
   71, reprinted in 1978 USCCAN 3973, 4040.  That report cited
   Congress's authority over FISA's subject matter in Article I
   section 8 of the Constitution and the power to "make all laws which
   shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the
   foregoing powers."  US Const cl 1, 18.  The report also both
   discussed Justice Jackson's concurring opinion in Youngstown Sheet
   and Tube Co v Sawyer, 343 US 579, 635 (1952) and included the
   following passage from the opinion:

             When the President takes measures incompatible with the
             expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at
             its lowest ebb, for then he can rely only upon his own
             constitutional powers minus any constitutional power of
             Congress over the matter.

   See also Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, H Conf Rep No 95-
   1720, 95th Cong 2d Sess 35, reprinted in 1978 USCCAN 4048, 4064.
   ("The intent of the conferees is to apply the standard set forth in
   Justice Jackson's concurring opinion in [Youngstown Sheet & Tube].")

             A lesser-known provision of FISA also expressly limited


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   presidential power to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance by
   repealing 18 USC section 2511(3) which had provided:

             Nothing in this chapter * * * shall limit the
             constitutional power of the President to take such
             measures as he deems necessary to protect the nation
             against actual or potential attack * * * or to protect
             national security against foreign intelligence
             activities. * * * The contents of any wire or oral
             communication intercepted by authority of the President
             in the exercise of the foregoing powers may be received
             in evidence in any trial hearing [sic], or other
             proceeding only where such interception was reasonable,
             and shall not be otherwise used or disclosed except as
             is necessary to implement that power.

   18 USC � 2511(3)(1976).  The Report of the Senate Select Committee
   on Intelligence explained that the repeal of this section
   "eliminat[ed] any congressional recognition or suggestion of
   inherent Presidential power with respect to electronic
   surveillance."  S Rep 95-701, 72.

             In the floor debate on Senate Bill 1566, Senator Gaylord
   Nelson related the history of the Senate's efforts to enact a
   foreign intelligence surveillance law to curb the abuses reported by
   the Church Committee; he noted that a "principal issue" with prior,
   unsuccessful legislative proposals was the reservation or reference
   to "inherent Presidential power," but that Senate Bill 1566 had no
   such reservation or reference: "Once enacted, it would represent
   the sole authority for national security electronic surveillance in
   the United States."  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, S 1566,
   95th Cong, 2d Sess, in 124 Cong Rec S 10903 (April 30, 2978).
   Senator Nelson further stated: "Along with the existing statute
   dealing with criminal wiretaps, this legislation blankets the field.
   If enacted, the threat of warrantless electronic surveillance will
   be laid to rest." Id.


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                                         B

              "Preemption" usually refers to Congress asserting its
   authority under the Supremacy Clause to override state law that
   interferes with federal interests.  In the present context,
   "preemption" refers to Congress overriding or replacing the
   interstitial lawmaking that judges create through federal common
   law.  In Milwaukee v Illinois, 451 US 304, 314 (1980) the Supreme
   Court explained the latter type of preemption: "Federal common law
   is a `necessary expedient' and when Congress addresses a question
   previously governed by a decision rested on federal common law the
   need for such an unusual exercise of lawmaking by federal courts
   disappears."   The Court further explained that federal courts need
   not find a "clear and manifest purpose" to replace or displace
   federal common law as would be required for a determination that
   Congress had pre-empted state law because there are no corresponding
   concerns for "our embracing federal system, including the principle
   of diffusion of power * * * as a promoter of democracy."  Id at 316-
   17.  On the contrary, the Court noted that federal courts are not
   general common-law courts and do not possess "a general power to
   develop and apply their own rules of decision." Id at 312, citing
   Erie R Co v Tompkins, 304 US 64, 78 (1934).  Federal common law
   applies "[u]ntil the field has been made the subject of
   comprehensive legislation."  451 US at 314.

              In Milwaukee v Illinois, the Court held that the 1972
   amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act preempted the
   application of the common law of nuisance by federal courts in
   disputes over water pollution.  In so holding, the Court looked to
   the legislative history, making special note of remarks by the Act's


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   sponsors, in determining that Congress's purpose was to establish an
   "all-encompassing program of water pollution regulation" 451 US at
   318.  The Court noted that "[n]o Congressman's remarks were complete
   without reference to the `comprehensive' nature of the Amendments."
   Id.  "The establishment of such a self-consciously comprehensive
   program by Congress * * * strongly suggests that there was no room
   for courts to attempt to improve on that program with federal common
   law." Id at 319.

               Both the plain text and the legislative history make clear
   that Congress intended FISA to "occupy the field through the
   establishment of a comprehensive regulatory program supervised by an
   expert administrative agency."  Id at 317.  Congress through FISA
   established a comprehensive, detailed program to regulate foreign
   intelligence surveillance in the domestic context.  The
   establishment of the specialized FISA courts specifically dedicated
   to considering requests for foreign intelligence surveillance by the
   executive branch paralleled the "expert administrative agency"
   referred to with approval in Milwaukee v Illinois.

               The present preemption analysis departs from that in
   Milwaukee v Illinois with respect to the scope and nature of what is
   being displaced.  The court is charged with determining whether FISA
   preempts or displaces not a common-law set of rules for conducting
   foreign intelligence surveillance, but rather a privilege asserted
   by the government to avoid public and judicial scrutiny of its
   activities related to national security.  In this case, those
   activities include foreign intelligence surveillance, the subject
   matter that Congress through FISA sought comprehensively to
   regulate.  This imperfect overlap between the preempting statute and


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   the common-law rule being preempted does not, however, create
   serious problems with finding the state secrets privilege preempted
   or displaced by FISA in the context of matters within FISA's
   purview.  FISA does not preempt the state secrets privilege as to
   matters that are not within FISA's purview; for such matters, the
   lack of comprehensive federal legislation leaves an appropriate role
   for this judge-made federal common law privilege.

              "The state secrets privilege is a common law evidentiary
   privilege that protects information from discovery when disclosure
   would be inimical to the national security.   [It] has its modern
   roots in United States v Reynolds."  In re United States, 872 F2d
   472, 474 (DC Cir 1989).  "The state secrets privilege is a common
   law evidentiary privilege that permits the government to bar the
   disclosure of information if `there is a reasonable danger' that
   disclosure will `expose military matters which, in the interest of
   national security, should not be divulged.'"   Al-Haramain Islamic
   Foundation v Bush, 507 F3d at 1196, citing Reynolds, 345 US at 10.
   The undersigned discussed the history and operation of the state
   secrets privilege at some length in Hepting v AT&T Corp, 439 F Supp
   2d 974 at 980-85 (N D Cal 2006).

              Reynolds largely demarcated the state secrets privilege as
   it is understood today, that is: it belongs to the government; it
   must be properly invoked by means of a "formal claim of privilege,
   lodged by the head of the department which has control over the
   matter" after "actual consideration"; the court must then "determine
   whether the circumstances are appropriate for the claim of
   privilege, and yet do so without forcing a disclosure of the very
   thing the privilege is designed to protect"; the precise nature,


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   extent and manner of this inquiry depends in part on the extent of a
   party's need for the information sought tested against the strength
   of the government's claim of privilege; and in camera review might
   be appropriate in some cases, but not all.  "When compulsion of the
   evidence will expose military matters which, in the interest of
   national security, should not be divulged, * * * the court should
   not jeopardize the security which the privilege is meant to protect
   by insisting upon an examination of the evidence, even by the judge
   alone, in chambers."  345 US at 7-10.

             Plaintiffs argue that the in camera procedure described in
   FISA's section 1806(f) applies to preempt the protocol described in
   Reynolds in this case.  Doc # 435/20 at 11-14.  The court agrees.
   Section 1806(f), which is quoted in full and discussed at greater
   length in Part III B below, provides that in cases in federal courts
   in which "aggrieved persons" seek to discover materials relating to,
   or information derived from, electronic surveillance, the United
   States attorney general may file "an affidavit under oath that
   disclosure or an adversary hearing would harm the national security
   of the United States."  In that event, the court "shall" conduct an
   in camera, ex parte review of such materials relating to the
   surveillance "as may be necessary to determine whether the
   surveillance * * * was lawfully authorized and conducted."  The
   procedure described in section 1806(f), while not identical to the
   procedure described in Reynolds, has important characteristics in
   common with it----enough, certainly, to establish that it preempts the
   state secrets privilege as to matters to which it relates.  Section
   1806(f) is Congress's specific and detailed prescription for how
   courts should handle claims by the government that the disclosure of


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   material relating to or derived from electronic surveillance would
   harm national security; it leaves no room in a case to which section
   1806(f) applies for a Reynolds-type process.  Moreover, its
   similarities are striking enough to suggest that section 1806(f),
   which addresses a range of circumstances in which information
   derived from electronic surveillance might become relevant to
   judicial proceedings, is in effect a codification of the state
   secrets privilege for purposes of relevant cases under FISA, as
   modified to reflect Congress's precise directive to the federal
   courts for the handling of materials and information with purported
   national security implications.  In either event, the Reynolds
   protocol has no role where section 1806(f) applies.  For that
   reason, the court of appeals' reliance on Reynolds in connection
   with the Sealed Document, while perhaps instructive, would not
   appear to govern the treatment of that document under FISA.

             The legislative history, moreover, buttresses the court's
   reading of the statutory text as intending that FISA replace judge-
   made federal common law rules:

             [T]he development of the law regulating electronic
             surveillance for national security purposes has been
             uneven and inconclusive. This is to be expected
             where the development is left to the judicial branch
             in an area where cases do not regularly come before
             it. Moreover, the development of standards and
             restrictions by the judiciary with respect to
             electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence
             purposes accomplished through case law threatens both
             civil liberties and the national security because
             that development occurs generally in ignorance of the
             facts, circumstances, and techniques of foreign
             intelligence electronic surveillance not present in
             the particular case before the court. * * * [T]he
             tiny window to this area which a particular case
             affords provides inadequate light by which judges may
             be relied upon to develop case law which adequately
             balances the rights of privacy and national security.


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   Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, HR Rep No 95-1283
   Part I at 21.  This legislative history is evidence of Congressional
   intent that FISA should displace federal common law rules such as
   the state secrets privilege with regard to matters within FISA's
   purview.

              Defendants advance essentially three points in support of
   their contention that "nothing in FISA indicates any intention by
   Congress * * * to abrogate the state secrets privilege" in the case
   of intelligence-driven electronic surveillance.  Doc #432/17 at 13.
   First, defendants argue that the privilege derives, not only from
   the common law, but also from the president's Article II powers, so
   that a "clear expression" of congressional intent is required to
   abrogate that privilege; furthermore, abrogation would raise
   fundamental constitutional problems which should be avoided.  Doc
   #432/17 at 13-14.  Second, defendants note the common law origins of
   the state secrets privilege and advert to the principle that
   abrogation of common law requires a "clear and direct" legislative
   expression of intent, which they contend is absent.  Id at 14-15.
   Finally, defendants contend that section 1806(f) serves a
   fundamentally different purpose from the state secrets privilege and
   that the former cannot therefore "preempt" the latter because
   section 1806(f) governs disclosure by the government of intelligence
   derived from electronic surveillance whereas the state secrets
   privilege is fundamentally a rule of non-disclosure.  Id at 15-22.
   The court disagrees with all three of these contentions, the second
   and third of which have been fully addressed in the paragraphs
   above.
   \\


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              The weakness of defendants' first argument----that the
   Constitution grants the executive branch the power to control the
   state secrets privilege----is evident in the authorities they marshal
   for it.  Defendants rely on United States v Nixon, 418 US 683
   (1974), in which the Supreme Court rejected President Nixon's
   efforts to quash subpoenas under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
   17(c) seeking tape recordings and documents pertaining to the
   Watergate break-in and ensuing events.   The Court rejected the
   president's "undifferentiated claim of public interest in the
   confidentiality of [White House] conversations" between the
   president and his advisors, contrasting the need for confidentiality
   of these conversations with "a claim of need to protect military,
   diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets." Id at 706.  In
   the course of making this comparison, the Court observed that
   privileges against forced disclosure find their sources in the
   Constitution, statutes or common law.  At bottom, however, Nixon
   stands for the proposition that in the case of a common law
   privilege such as that asserted by President Nixon, it is the
   judiciary that defines the metes and bounds of that privilege and
   even the confidential communications of the president must yield to
   the needs of the criminal justice system.  This hardly counts as
   authority that the president's duties under Article II create a
   shield against disclosure.

              Even the Court's comparative weighing of the imperatives
   of confidentiality for "undifferentiated" presidential discussions
   and "military, diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets"
   affords defendants little help in this case.  Department of the Navy
   v Egan, 484 US 518 (1988), upon which defendants rely, confirms that


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   power over national security information does not rest solely with
   the president.  Egan recognized the president's constitutional power
   to "control access to information bearing on national security,"
   stating that this power "falls on the President as head of the
   Executive Branch and as Commander in Chief" and "exists quite apart
   from any explicit congressional grant." Id at 527.  But Egan also
   discussed the other side of the coin, stating that "unless Congress
   specifically has provided otherwise, courts traditionally have been
   reluctant to intrude upon the authority of the Executive in military
   and national security affairs."  Id at 530 (emphasis added).  Egan
   recognizes that the authority to protect national security
   information is neither exclusive nor absolute in the executive
   branch.  When Congress acts to contravene the president's authority,
   federal courts must give effect to what Congress has required.
   Egan's formulation is, therefore, a specific application of Justice
   Jackson's more general statement in Youngstown Sheet & Tube.

               It is not entirely clear whether defendants acknowledge
   Congress's authority to enact FISA as the exclusive means by which
   the executive branch may undertake foreign intelligence surveillance
   in the domestic context.  While their papers do not explicitly
   assert otherwise, defendants' attorney in this matter stated in open
   court during the hearing herein held on April 23, 2008 that, while
   he conceded that "Congress sought to take over the field" of foreign
   intelligence surveillance (Doc #452 at 29:2-3), whether the
   president actually had constitutional authority under Article II to
   order such surveillance in disregard of FISA remained an open
   question:  "[D]oes the president have constitutional authority under
   Article II to authorize foreign intelligence surveillance?  Several


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   courts said that he did.  Congress passed the FISA, and the issue
   has never really been resolved.  That goes to the issue of the
   authority to authorize surveillance."  Id at 33:7-12.  Counsel
   repeatedly asserted that this issue was entirely separate from the
   preemption inquiry relevant to the state secrets privilege and urged
   the court not to "conflate" the two inquiries.  E g, id at 32:8-10.

              To the contrary, the court believes that the two areas of
   executive branch activity pertaining to foreign intelligence
   surveillance are not distinct for purposes of this analysis as
   defendants' counsel asserts.  Congress appears clearly to have
   intended to----and did----establish the exclusive means for foreign
   intelligence surveillance activities to be conducted.  Whatever
   power the executive may otherwise have had in this regard, FISA
   limits the power of the executive branch to conduct such activities
   and it limits the executive branch's authority to assert the state
   secrets privilege in response to challenges to the legality of its
   foreign intelligence surveillance activities.

              Of note, many Congressional enactments regulate the use of
   classified materials by the executive branch, putting FISA in good
   company.  Title 50 chapter 15 of the United States Code relates to
   national security generally and national security information in
   particular.  Some of its provisions restrict disclosure and impose
   minimum security requirements on the executive branch.  Fifty USC
   section 435 requires the president to "establish procedures to
   govern access to classified information," such as background checks.
   Others authorize disclosure.  Fifty USC section 403-5d, part of the




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   USA PATRIOT Act3, permits federal law enforcement officials to share
   foreign intelligence information obtained as part of a criminal
   investigation.  Other provisions allocate control of classified
   material among executive branch agencies.  For instance, 50
   USC section 435a(d) gives the director of the Central Intelligence
   Agency the power to control the State Department's use of classified
   information.  Congress elsewhere requires the executive branch to
   disclose national security information to Congressional intelligence
   committees.  50 USC �� 413(a), 413b(c).  Congress left the executive
   branch no "authority to withhold information from the intelligence
   committees on the grounds that providing the information to the
   intelligence committees would constitute the unauthorized disclosure
   of classified information or information relating to intelligence
   sources and methods." 50 USC � 413(e).  See also 50 USC � 425
   ("Nothing" in subchapter IV, which pertains to "Protection of
   Certain National Security Information," "may be construed as
   authority to withhold information from the Congress or from a
   committee of either House of Congress.")  And 50 USC section 413(b)
   requires that "[t]he President shall ensure that any illegal
   intelligence activity is reported promptly to the intelligence
   committees * * *."    Congressional regulation of the use of
   classified information by the executive branch through FISA and
   other statutes is therefore well-established.

              As part of their argument that the state secrets privilege
   has a constitutional basis in Article II, defendants contend that a

        3
            Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools
   Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism ("USA PATRIOT") Act of 2001,
   Pub L No 107-56, � 215, 115 Stat 287, amended by USA Patriot Improvement and
   Reauthorization Act of 2005, Pub L 109-178, 120 Stat 282 (2006).

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   "clear statement of congressional intent" to abrogate the privilege
   is required, citing Franklin v Massachusetts, 505 US 788, 800-01
   (1992).   Franklin held that the office of the president was not an
   executive "agency" whose actions were subject to judicial review
   under the Administrative Procedures Act.  The APA broadly described
   its scope to include "each authority of the Government of the United
   States" except Congress, the courts, the governments of United
   States territories and the government of Washington, DC. The Court
   nonetheless held that, when the APA did not explicitly include the
   president and the legislative history did not suggest that Congress
   intended for courts to review the president's actions under the APA,
   the APA's "textual silence" was insufficient to infer that Congress
   intended to subject the president to lawsuits under the APA: "We
   would require an express statement by Congress before assuming it
   intended the President's performance of his statutory duties to be
   reviewed for abuse of discretion."  See also Nixon v Fitzgerald, 457
   US 731, 748, n27 (1982) (Court would require an explicit statement
   by Congress before assuming Congress had created a damages action
   against the president)."   Franklin, 505 US at 800-01.

              Franklin is readily distinguishable.  The impetus for the
   enactment of FISA was Congressional concern about warrantless
   wiretapping of United States citizens conducted under a
   justification of inherent presidential authority under Article II.
   Congress squarely challenged and explicitly sought to prohibit
   warrantless wiretapping by the executive branch by means of FISA,
   as FISA's legislative history amply documented.  This was a
   different situation from Franklin, in which the Court required
   certainty about Congressional intent to regulate the office of the


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   president that was absent on the record before it.

              In the case of FISA, Congress attempted not only to put a
   stop to warrantless wiretapping by the executive branch but also to
   establish checks and balances involving other branches of
   government in anticipation of efforts by future administrations to
   undertake warrantless surveillance in some other manner:

              In the past several years, abuses of domestic
              national security surveillances have been
              disclosed. This evidence alone should demonstrate
              the inappropriateness of relying solely on
              executive branch discretion to safeguard civil
              liberties. This committee is well aware of the
              substantial safeguards respecting foreign
              intelligence electronic surveillance currently
              embodied in classified Attorney General procedures,
              but this committee is also aware that over the past
              thirty years there have been significant changes in
              internal executive branch procedures, and there is
              ample precedent for later administrations or even
              the same administration loosening previous
              standards.

   H R Rep No 95-1283(I) at 21.  Given the possibility that the
   executive branch might again engage in warrantless surveillance and
   then assert national security secrecy in order to mask its conduct,
   Congress intended for the executive branch to relinquish its near-
   total control over whether the fact of unlawful surveillance could
   be protected as a secret.

              Reynolds itself, holding that the state secrets privilege
   is part of the federal common law, leaves little room for
   defendants' argument that the state secrets privilege is actually
   rooted in the constitution.  Reynolds stated that the state secrets
   privilege was "well-established in the law of evidence." 345 US at
   6-7.   At the time, Congress had not yet approved the Federal Rules
   of Evidence, and therefore the only "law of evidence" to apply in
   federal court was an amalgam of common law, local practice and


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   statutory provisions with indefinite contours.  John Henry Wigmore
   (revised by Peter Tillers), I Evidence �6.1 at 384-85 (Little,
   Brown & Co 1983).  The Court declined to address the constitutional
   question whether Congress could limit executive branch authority to
   withhold sensitive documents, but merely interpreted and applied
   federal common law.  See Reynolds, 345 US at 6 & n9.

                Defendants' attempt to establish a strict dichotomy
   between federal common law and constitutional interpretation is,
   moreover, misconceived because all rules of federal common law have
   some grounding in the Constitution.  "Federal common law implements
   the federal Constitution and statutes, and is conditioned by them.
   Within these limits, federal courts are free to apply the
   traditional common-law technique of decision and to draw upon all
   the sources of the common law in cases such as the present."
   D'Oench, Duhme & Co v FDIC, 315 US 447, 472 (1942) (Jackson
   concurring).  The rules of federal common law on money and banking,
   for instance, all derive from the Constitution.  See Clearfield
   Trust Co v United States, 318 US 363, 366 (1943) (in disbursements
   of funds and payment of debts, United States exercises a
   constitutional function or power).  The federal common law
   pertaining to tort suits brought by United States soldiers against
   private tortfeasors flows from Congress's powers under Article I
   section 8.  United States v Standard Oil Co, 332 US 301, 306 n7
   (1947).  Accordingly, all rules of federal common law perform a
   function of constitutional significance.

                In the specific context of the state secrets privilege,
   it would be unremarkable for the privilege to have a constitutional
   "core" or constitutional "overtones."  See Robert M Chesney, State


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   Secrets and the Limits of National Security Litigation, 75 George
   Wash L Rev 1249, 1309-10 (2007).  Article II might be nothing more
   than the source of federal policy that courts look to when applying
   the common law state secrets privilege.  But constitutionally-
   inspired deference to the executive branch is not the same as
   constitutional law.

             In any event, the parties' disagreement over the origins
   of the state secrets privilege is of little practical significance.
   Whether a "clear statement," a comprehensive legislative scheme or
   something less embracing is required, Congress has provided what is
   necessary for this court to determine that FISA preempts or
   displaces the state secrets privilege, but only in cases within the
   reach of its provisions.  This is such a case.

                                        C

             In addition to their more substantial arguments,
   defendants advance two arguments why the court should not even take
   up the issue remanded by the court of appeals.  Defendants' first
   such argument in this regard may be easily dispatched.  Defendants
   argue that the court may not reach the question remanded for
   consideration by the court of appeals because the court lacks
   jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims.  Wholly apart from the
   disregard for the court of appeals----whose decisions bind this
   court, after all----that acceptance of defendants' argument would
   entail, defendants' argument lacks merit.

             Defendants premise their argument on plaintiffs' lack of
   standing to obtain prospective relief; that is, because plaintiffs
   cannot show that they have been injured or face a "real and

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   immediate threat" of harm in the future, defendants conclude that
   Article III standing is absent.  Doc # 432/17 at 7-8.  Plaintiff
   cannot show injury, contend defendants, because the state secrets
   privilege prevents the government from confirming or denying that
   plaintiffs have been subjected to unlawful surveillance.

              The circularity of defendants' argument to one side,
   defendants conflate the state secrets privilege with the "aggrieved
   person" requirement of section 1810, discussed in Part III infra.
   If plaintiffs can show that they are "aggrieved" as section 1810
   contemplates, then plaintiffs have adequately demonstrated injury
   for purposes of establishing Article III standing.

              Somewhat more substantially, defendants argue that
   plaintiffs cannot pursue their claims because section 1810 does not
   waive the United States' sovereign immunity against suits naming
   the government or individuals acting in their official capacity.
   Employing a variety of arguments, defendants assert that civil
   liability under section 1810 is "linked to intentional misconduct
   by individual federal employees and officials." Doc # 446/29 at 7.
   They also assert that "[t]he Complaint does not name any of the
   individual defendants in their individual capacity." Doc # 432 at
   9.  And they point out that plaintiffs have not served defendants
   in their individual capacities, an assertion that plaintiffs do not
   dispute.   Doc # 450/31 at 2.

              Plaintiffs counter that defendants made similar arguments
   before the court of appeals but that the court of appeals did not
   address those points in its disposition of defendants' appeal.  Doc
   # 435/20 at 24.  Plaintiffs also contend that for the court to take
   up this issue and, especially, to entertain defendants' assertion

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   that governmental immunity bars adjudication of the other issues
   before the court, would violate the court of appeals' instructions
   to this court in its order remanding the case. Id.

               It is, of course, true that section 1810 does not contain
   a waiver of sovereign immunity analogous to that in 18 USC section
   2712(a) which expressly provides that aggrieved persons may sue the
   United States for unlawful surveillance in violation of Title III.
   But FISA directs its prohibitions to "Federal officers and
   employees" (see, e g, 50 USC �� 1806, 1825, 1845) and it is only
   such officers and employees acting in their official capacities
   that would engage in surveillance of the type contemplated by FISA.
   The remedial provision of FISA in section 1810 would afford scant,
   if any, relief if it did not lie against such "Federal officers and
   employees" carrying out their official functions.  Implicit in the
   remedy that section 1810 provides is a waiver of sovereign
   immunity.

               Of no small moment to this court's consideration of
   defendants' sovereign immunity contention, it appears that
   defendants asserted the same argument in the court of appeals which
   seems simply to have ignored it, presumably as insubstantial or
   premature given the present state of the record.

               In Part IV of this order, the court discusses whether
   plaintiffs should be granted leave to serve defendants in their
   individual capacities.

                                        III

               The determination that FISA preempts the state secrets
   privilege does not necessarily clear the way for plaintiffs to

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   pursue their claim for relief against these defendants under FISA's
   section 1810.  That section provides:

             An aggrieved person, other than a foreign power or an
             agent of the foreign power * * * who has been
             subjected to an electronic surveillance or about whom
             information obtained by electronic surveillance of
             such person has been disclosed or used in violation
             of section 1809 of this title shall be entitled to
             recover----
             (a) actual damages * * *
             (b) punitive damages; and
             (c) reasonable attorney's fees and other
             investigation and litigation costs reasonably
             incurred.

   50 USC � 1810.  An "aggrieved person" is "a person who is the
   target of an electronic surveillance or any other person whose
   communications or activities were subject to electronic
   surveillance." 50 USC � 1801(i).  Section 1809, violation of which
   forms the basis for liability under section 1810, criminalizes two
   types of conduct: (1) intentionally "engag[ing] in electronic
   surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute"
   and (2)

             disclos[ing] or us[ing] information obtained under
             color of law by electronic surveillance, knowing or
             having reason to know that the information was
             obtained through electronic surveillance not
             authorized by statute.

   A host of obstacles, however, make section 1810 a mostly
   theoretical, but rarely, if ever, a practical vehicle for seeking a
   civil remedy for unlawful surveillance.

                                        A

             Before an aggrieved person can bring an action for
   damages under section 1810, the person must learn somehow of the

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   electronic surveillance and thus the cause to be "aggrieved."  The
   primary circumstance FISA describes in which a person learns of
   this surveillance arises from a criminal proceeding----i e, if and
   when the individual is arrested and charged with a crime.  For
   example, section 1806(c) provides:

             Whenever the Government intends to enter into evidence
             or otherwise use or disclose in any trial, hearing, or
             other proceeding in or before any court, department,
             officer, agency, regulatory body, or other authority of
             the United States, against an aggrieved person, any
             information obtained or derived from an electronic
             surveillance of that aggrieved person pursuant to the
             authority of this subchapter, the Government shall,
             prior to the trial, hearing, or other proceeding or at
             a reasonable time prior to an effort to so disclose or
             so use that information or submit it in evidence,
             notify the aggrieved person and the court or other
             authority in which the information is to be disclosed
             or used that the Government intends to so disclose or
             so use such information.

   Nearly identical requirements applicable to state governments
   require notification to the attorney general of the United States
   as well as to the aggrieved party and the court. � 1806(d).  An
   analogous pair of notification provisions pertaining to evidence
   obtained pursuant to physical searches applies to the United States
   and to state governments, respectively. � 1825(d) and (e). See
   also � 1845(c) and (d)(pertaining to pen registers and trap and
   trace devices) and 50 USC � 1861(h)(part of the USA PATRIOT Act
   enacted in 2001 and amended in 2006, pertaining to "information
   acquired from tangible things").

             FISA's section 1806(j) provides for notice to be given to
   the United States person targeted for surveillance when "an
   emergency employment of electronic surveillance is authorized under
   section 1805(e) * * * and a subsequent order approving the
   surveillance is not obtained."  In that circumstance, the judge

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   "shall cause to be served" on the affected United States persons
   notice of the fact of the application, the period of the
   surveillance and "the fact that during the period information was
   or was not obtained."  The notice provided for under section
   1806(j) may be postponed or suspended once for up to ninety days
   upon an ex parte showing of good cause by the government.  Upon a
   further ex parte showing of good cause, the notice requirement
   under section 1806(j) may be forever waived.

              FISA contains a provision requiring direct notification
   to a "United States person" whose residence has been searched under
   FISA's section 1824 if "at any time after the search the Attorney
   General determines there is no national security interest in
   continuing to maintain the secrecy of the search."  50 USC �
   1825(b).  In that event, the attorney general "shall provide notice
   to the United States person * * * of the fact of the search
   conducted * * * and shall identify any property of such person
   seized, altered, or reproduced during such search."  Id.

              Intelligence-gathering related to national security is
   generally not for law enforcement; in fact, the initiation of law
   enforcement actions may work at cross-purposes to the goals of the
   intelligence-gathering by disrupting surveillance that is more
   valuable to national security goals if left intact.  The sense that
   intelligence-gathering under FISA was rarely for the purpose of
   criminal prosecution emerges from the text of FISA as crafted in
   Congress and from its legislative history.  In the context of
   allowing the destruction of surveillance records acquired under
   FISA, the Senate Report distinguished FISA from Title III, noting:
   \\

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               Although there may be cases in which information
               acquired from a foreign intelligence surveillance
               will be used as evidence of a crime, these cases
               are expected to be relatively few in number,
               unlike Title III interceptions the very purpose of
               which is to obtain evidence of criminal activity.
               The Committee believes that in light of the
               relatively few cases in which information acquired
               under this chapter may be used as evidence, the
               better practice is to allow the destruction of
               information that is not foreign intelligence
               information or evidence of criminal activity.
               This course will more effectively safeguard the
               privacy of individuals * * *.

   Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, S Rep No 95-604 Part
   I, 95th Cong 2d Sess 39 (1978), reprinted in 1978 USCCAN 3940-41.

   Situations in which individuals subject to FISA warrants would be
   notified of such warrants are therefore narrowly circumscribed
   under FISA and this appears to be by design.

               FISA also contains reporting requirements to facilitate
   Congressional oversight of FISA, but these are of little help to an
   individual seeking to learn of having been the subject of a FISA
   warrant: sections 1808 (electronic surveillance), 1826 (physical
   searches), 1846 (pen registers and trap and trace devices) and 1862
   (requests for production of tangible things).  Each of these
   provisions, under the heading "Congressional oversight," requires
   semiannual reporting by the United States attorney general to
   Congress.

               As relevant to the subject matter of the instant action,
   section 1808(a)(1) requires that the attorney general on a
   semiannual basis "fully inform" certain Congressional committees
   "concerning all electronic surveillance under this subchapter."
   Section 1801(a)(2) requires that each report under section
   1808(a)(1) include a description of:

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             (A) the total number of applications made for orders
             and extensions of orders approving electronic
             surveillance under this subchapter where the nature
             and location of each facility or place at which the
             electronic surveillance will be directed is unknown;
             (B) each criminal case in which information acquired
             under this chapter has been authorized for use at
             trial during the period covered by such report; and
             (C) the total number of emergency employments of
             electronic surveillance under section 1805(f) of this
             title and the total number of subsequent orders
             approving or denying such electronic surveillance.

   Of note, these provisions only require itemized information about
   surveillances to be reported to Congress if the information
   pertains to criminal cases in which the information is intended to
   be used at trial.  All other surveillances and/or uses need be
   reported in the form of aggregate numbers only.

             A further reporting requirement newly adopted in 2004 as
   part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of
   2004, PL 108-458, requires the attorney general to report
   semiannually to the Congressional intelligence committees:

             (1) the aggregate number of persons targeted for
             orders issued under this chamber [broken down by
             type of warrant or search];
             (2) the number of individuals covered by an order
             issued pursuant to [� 1801(b)(1)(C) (i e non-
             United States persons who are "agent[s] of a
             foreign power" engaged in "international terrorism
             or activities in preparation therefor")];
             (3) the number of times that the Attorney General
             has authorized that information obtained under
             this chapter may be used in a criminal proceeding
             * * *;
             (4) a summary of significant legal interpretations
             of this chapter involving matters before the FISC
             or the FISCR * * *; and
             (5) copies of all decisions (not including orders)
             or opinions of the FISC or FISCR that include

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              significant construction or interpretation of the
              provisions of this chapter.

   50 USC � 1871(a).  These reports are presumably not available to
   the press or the public; in any event, they do not provide any
   means for an individual to learn of having been subject to
   surveillance or search under a FISA warrant.

              A provision requiring periodic reporting to Congress by
   the Department of Justice of the number of pen register orders and
   orders for trap and trace devices applied for under 18 USC � 3123
   and under FISA by law enforcement agencies of the Department of
   Justice was enacted in 1986 as part of the Electronic
   Communications Privacy Act of 1986, Pub L 99-508, 100 Stat 1871.
   18 USC �� 3121(a), 3126.  The report to Congress must include
   certain specifics as to each order: the period of interceptions,
   including extensions, the offense, the number of investigations,
   the number and nature of facilities affected and the identity of
   the applying agency and the person authorizing the order.  Id �
   3126.  There are, however, no specific notification requirements in
   that chapter (Chapter 206).

              By contrast, Title III, 18 USC �� 2510-22, the federal
   wiretapping statute used by law enforcement to conduct electronic
   surveillance domestically, provides not only for reporting to
   Congress to facilitate oversight of the executive branch's
   surveillance activities, but also for notice as a matter of course
   to individuals surveilled and for civil liability to such
   individuals in the event of unlawful surveillance.

              Reporting to Congress on electronic surveillance under
   Title III is the responsibility of the judiciary, the Department of

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   Justice and the individual states' attorneys general.  All three
   are separately and independently obligated to provide data about
   applications for electronic surveillance to the Administrative
   Office of the United States Courts, which in turn must transmit
   annually to Congress "a full and complete report concerning the
   number of applications for orders and extensions granted or denied
   pursuant to this chapter during the preceding calendar year." 18
   USC � 2519.   "The reports are not intended to include confidential
   material [but] should be statistical in character * * * It will
   assure the community that the system of court-order electronic
   surveillance envisioned by the proposed chapter is properly
   administered * * *."    Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of
   1968, S Rep No 1097, 90th Cong 2d Sess (1968), reprinted in 1968
   USCCAN at 2196.

             Regarding notice to surveilled individuals, 18 USC
   section 2518(d) provides that, "within a reasonable time but not
   later than ninety days after the filing of an application [for
   interception of electronic communications]," whether successful or
   unsuccessful, the judge in the matter "shall cause to be served" on
   the individuals affected "an inventory" notifying them of the fact,
   date and disposition of the order or application and whether or not
   wire, oral or electronic communications were intercepted.  The
   statute further authorizes the judge, upon motion by an individual
   so notified, to allow inspection of "such portions of the
   intercepted communications, applications and orders as the judge
   determines to be in the interest of justice."  Id.  The serving of
   the inventory may be postponed "on an ex parte showing of good
   cause * * *."   Id.

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             The legislative history of this provision both
   acknowledges and addresses the potential implications for national
   security of section 2518(d)'s notice requirement and expressly
   contemplates civil actions based on the inventories:

             [W]here the interception relates, for example, to a
             matter involving or touching on the national security
             interest, it might be expected that the period of
             postponement could be extended almost indefinitely.
             Yet the intent of the provision is that the principle
             of postuse notice will be retained. This provision
             alone should insure the community that the techniques
             are reasonably employed. Through its operation all
             authorized interceptions must eventually become known
             at least to the subject. He can then seek
             appropriate civil redress for example, under section
             2520 * * * if he feels that his privacy has been
             unlawfully invaded.

   1968 USCCAN at 2194.  In describing the civil damages available
   under section 2520, the Senate report stated that Congress
   expressly contemplated the provisions requiring notice to affected
   individuals to form the basis for civil suits: "It is expected
   that civil suits, if any, will instead grow out of the filing of
   * * * inventories under section 2518(8)(d)." Id at 2196.

             Eighteen USC section 2520, in turn, provides for civil
   remedies in the form of injunctive relief, declaratory relief and
   damages and sets out specific measures of damages based on the
   number of violations ($50-500 for the first finding of liability,
   $100-1000 for the second and, for the third or other subsequent
   finding of liability, actual damages and profits reaped or $100 per
   day or $10,000). 18 USC � 2520(c).  Defenses include, inter alia,
   good faith reliance on a court warrant or order, grand jury
   subpoena or legislative or statutory authorization.  Id.

             In summary, FISA makes little provision for notice to
   surveilled individuals except when the government chooses to

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   disclose surveillance materials and the provisions that exist are
   easy for the government to avoid.  This must be presumed to be part
   of Congress's design for FISA because the notification procedure in
   Title III----which, moreover, contemplated special handling of cases
   involving national security concerns----predated FISA by a decade.
   Congress could have modeled FISA on Title III in this regard, but
   did not do so.   In consequence, the cases are few and far between
   in which an individual ever learns of having been subject to
   electronic surveillance within FISA's purview and therefore
   possibly having standing as an aggrieved party for FISA section
   1810 purposes.

             One of the few cases in which an individual surveilled
   under a FISA warrant became aware of his status as an "aggrieved
   party" is that of Brendan Mayfield, an American-born United States
   citizen, attorney and former United States Army officer who brought
   suit against the United States after being arrested and imprisoned
   in 2004 upon suspicion of involvement in the conspiracy to detonate
   bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, Spain.  Mayfield v United
   States, 504 F Supp 2d 1023 (D Or 2007).  The Mayfield case is
   instructive.  The investigation leading to the arrest and the
   arrest itself were apparently the result of a false fingerprint
   match which led the FBI, among other things, to seek and obtain
   from the FISC an order authorizing electronic surveillance of
   Mayfield's home and his law office. Id at 1028.  The published
   opinion in Mayfield noted, without providing specifics, that
   Mayfield had settled claims for "past injuries," id at 1033;
   Mayfield, however, continued to press his claims for a declaration
   that FISA, as amended by the USA PATRIOT Act, violated the Fourth

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   Amendment by undermining the requirement of probable cause as a
   pre-condition for obtaining a search warrant and for collecting,
   disseminating and retaining information thus obtained.  Mayfield
   also claimed that FISA violated the Fourth Amendment by permitting
   warrants to be issued under FISA without a showing that the
   "primary purpose" of the search is to obtain foreign intelligence
   information.  Id at 1032.

             The district court agreed with Mayfield and granted, on
   summary judgment, a declaration finding FISA unconstitutional.  The
   United States appealed this order and the appeal is now pending
   before the court of appeals.

             The district court drew particular attention to the
             "notice problem" under FISA:
             Nor does FISA require notice. The Fourth Amendment
             ordinarily requires that the subject of a search be
             notified that the search has occurred. Although in
             some circumstances the government is permitted to
             delay the provision of notice, the Supreme Court has
             never upheld a statute that, like FISA, authorizes
             the government to search a person's home or intercept
             his communications without ever informing the person
             that his or her privacy has been violated. Except
             for the investigations that result in criminal
             prosecutions, FISA targets never learn that their
             homes or offices have been searched or that their
             communications have been intercepted. Therefore,
             most FISA targets have no way of challenging the
             legality of the surveillance or obtaining any remedy
             for violations of their constitutional rights.

   Id at 1039.

             Ironically, the Mayfield case seems an ideal one for the
   government to provide notification under section 1825(b), discussed
   above, which directs the attorney general to notify United States
   persons whose residences have been subjected to physical search
   after the attorney general "determines there is no national

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   security interest in continuing to maintain the secrecy of the
   search."  Yet the government leaned toward secrecy rather than
   candor.  Only after Mayfield had filed litigation and moved to
   compel notification did the government notify him of the physical
   search and, in doing so, contended that both the fact and the
   extent of notification were entirely within the attorney general's
   discretion.  Agency Defendants' Reply In Support Of Motion to
   Dismiss Counts Twelve and Thirteen and Opposition to Motion to
   Compel, Mayfield v Gonzales, CV 04-1427-AA Doc # 72 at 6-10, United
   States District Court for the District of Oregon, filed April 15,
   2005.   Mayfield later challenged the sufficiency of the
   government's disclosure.    Mayfield v Gonzales, 2005 WL 1801679, *17
   (D Or 2005).   The Mayfield case illustrates the limited
   effectiveness of FISA's narrowly-defined notice provision relating
   to physical searches.   Limited and imperfect as FISA's notification
   provision for physical searches may be, FISA contains no comparable
   provision for United States persons who have been subjected to
   electronic surveillance as opposed to physical search.

               In the Al-Haramain case, notification to plaintiffs of
   their potential status as "aggrieved parties" came in the form of
   an accident:   the inadvertent disclosure of the Sealed Document
   during discovery proceedings, a disclosure that the various United
   States entities involved took immediate and largely successful
   steps to undo.  To speak metaphorically, the inadvertent disclosure
   by OFAC of the Sealed Document amounted to a small tear in the
   thick veil of secrecy behind which the government had been
   conducting its electronic surveillance activities.  The Oregon
   district court refused to allow plaintiffs to learn more by

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   conducting discovery, but held that no further harm could result
   from working with the salient information divulged thus far.  By
   refusing to allow the use of the Sealed Document in any form for
   the adjudication of plaintiffs' claims in this matter, the court of
   appeals required that the small tear be stitched closed, leaving
   plaintiffs with actual but not useful notice and without the sole
   item of evidence they had offered in support of their claims.

                                         B
 
             Difficult as it is to learn of one's status as an
   aggrieved party for section 1810 purposes, an aggrieved party needs
   more than mere knowledge of the surveillance to be able to proceed
   with a lawsuit under section 1810.  The next major obstacle to
   seeking civil remedies under FISA is the lack of a practical
   vehicle for obtaining and/or using admissible evidence in support
   of such claims.   An aggrieved party must be able to produce
   evidence sufficient to establish standing to proceed as an
   "aggrieved party" and, later, to withstand motions for dismissal
   and/or summary judgment.  This effort is encumbered with legal and
   practical obstacles.

              As noted above in Part III A, FISA does not provide for
   the preservation of recordings and other information obtained
   pursuant to a FISA warrant.  Rather, Congress intended to allow
   such material to be destroyed, the idea being that to allow
   destruction would better protect the privacy of individuals
   surveilled than to require preservation. S Rep No 95-604 Part I at
   39.   By contrast, Title III expressly requires intercepted
   communications to be recorded and expressly prohibits destruction

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   of the recordings except upon an order of the issuing or denying
   judge.   Also, "in any event [they] shall be kept for ten years."
   18 USC � 2518(8)(a).  It provides, moreover, that "custody of the
   recordings shall be wherever the judge orders." Id.   These
   provisions ensure that a body of evidence establishing the fact of
   the surveillance is brought into existence and safeguarded under a
   a judge's control.  By failing to impose parallel obligations on
   the government agencies and officials who are the putative
   defendants in an action alleging FISA violations, FISA provides
   little help to "aggrieved persons" who might seek to become civil
   plaintiffs.

              Plaintiffs and plaintiff amici contend that FISA's
   section 1806(f) provides the means for them to overcome this
   evidentiary hurdle.  The court has carefully studied section
   1806(f) and does not agree.

              As relevant here, section 1806(f) provides:

              whenever any motion or request is made by an aggrieved
              person pursuant to any other statute or rule of the
              United States * * * before any court * * * of the
              United States * * * to discover or obtain applications
              or orders or other materials relating to electronic
              surveillance or to discover, obtain, or suppress
              evidence or information obtained or derived from
              electronic surveillance under this chapter, the United
              States district court * * * shall, notwithstanding any
              other law, if the Attorney General files an affidavit
              under oath that disclosure or an adversary hearing
              would harm the national security of the United States,
              review in camera and ex parte the application, order,
              and such other materials relating to the surveillance
              as may be necessary to determine whether the
              surveillance of the aggrieved person was lawfully
              authorized and conducted.  In making this
              determination, the court may disclose to the aggrieved
              person, under appropriate security procedures and
              protective orders, portions of the application, order,
              or other materials relating to the surveillance only
              where such disclosure is necessary to make an accurate
              determination of the legality of the surveillance.

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   The parties have argued at length in their papers and in court
   about the meaning and application of this convoluted pair of
   sentences.  Both plaintiff amici and telecommunications carrier
   defendant amici ("defendant amici") have devoted their entire
   amicus briefs to this subject.  Doc # 440/23, 442/25.

                Defendants contend that section 1806(f) does not come
   into play unless and until the government has acknowledged that it
   surveilled the "aggrieved person" in question (by, for example,
   initiating criminal proceedings), but that it is not available as a
   means for an individual to discover having been surveilled absent
   such governmental acknowledgment.  See, e g, Doc #432/17 at 16-20.
   Defendants further assert that, assuming arguendo that FISA
   "preempts" the state secrets privilege, as this court holds it does
   for purposes of electronic surveillance, plaintiffs would still be
   unable to establish their standing as "aggrieved persons" for
   section 1810 purposes without "inherently risk[ing] or requir[ing]
   the disclosure of state secrets to the plaintiffs and the public at
   large."  Id at 22-23.

                The defendant amici present more detailed arguments about
   section 1806(f) that are in accord with defendants' position.  They
   assert that the "motion * * * to discover" provision at issue in
   this case "creates no rights for aggrieved persons; it provides
   procedures to implement their existing right to seek discovery in
   support of efforts to suppress evidence obtained or derived from
   electronic surveillance." Doc #442/25 at 5.  Defendant amici
   further assert that section 1806(f)'s purpose was to preserve for
   the prosecution a "dismiss option" when the legality of
   surveillance evidence is challenged, so that the prosecution could

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   choose not to proceed rather than risk the disclosure of classified
   information. Id at 10-11.  In support of this contention, they
   point to section 1806(f)'s language providing for the United States
   attorney general to invoke its procedures and argue that the
   section does not provide for courts to compel the disclosure of
   information absent the attorney general's involvement. Id at 11.

             Defendant amici also contrast FISA's section 1806(f) with
   18 USC section 3504(a)(1), enacted in 1970 as part of the Organized
   Crime Control Act.   The latter establishes a procedure by which "a
   party aggrieved" seeking to exclude evidence based on a claim that
   it was obtained illegally may obligate "the opponent of the claim"
   (i e, the government) "to affirm or deny the occurrence of the
   alleged unlawful act."   Defendant amici argue that "[t]he existence
   of the carefully circumscribed discovery right in � 3504 negates any
   suggestion that � 1806(f) implicitly covers the same ground" and
   cite United States v Hamide, 914 F2d 1147 (9th Cir 1990) for the
   proposition that section 3504(a) and section 1806(f) can be used
   together but that they accomplish different objectives and cannot be
   construed as serving similar purposes.  Doc # 442/25 at 15-16.

             In Hamide, an immigration judge had entertained a motion
   under section 3504(a)(1) by an individual in deportation proceedings
   requesting that the government affirm or deny the existence of
   electronic surveillance.  After the government disclosed that it had
   conducted electronic surveillance of the individual, it filed in the
   district court a "Petition of the United States for Judicial
   Determination of Legality of Certain Electronic Surveillance" under
   FISA's section 1806(f), together with the FISA materials relevant to
   the authorization of the surveillance filed under seal and a request

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   that the matter be handled ex parte for national security reasons.
   914 F2d at 1149.  The district court then ruled ex parte in the
   government's favor. Id at 1149-50.

               Defendant amici argue that Congress could have
   incorporated into FISA a procedure like that provided for in
   section 3504(a)(1) by which an individual could require the
   executive branch to confirm or deny the existence of electronic
   surveillance and, since Congress did not do so, it must be presumed
   not to have intended such a procedure to be available under FISA.
   Doc #442/25 at 16.

               Plaintiff amici counter defendants' arguments against
   plaintiffs' proposed use of section 1806(f) with several major
   contentions.   First, they argue that section 1806(f)'s scope is
   expansive enough to provide for in camera review in any civil or
   criminal case----not merely cases arising under FISA----in which a
   claim of unlawful surveillance is raised. Doc #440/23 at 11-13,
   17.  They point out that the text of section 1806(f) referring to
   "any motion or request * * * pursuant to any other statute or rule
   of the United States" does not suggest a limitation to criminal
   statutes. Id at 11.  They also point to language in the conference
   report on the final version of FISA stating "[t]he conferees agree
   that an in camera and ex parte proceeding is appropriate for
   determining the lawfulness of electronic surveillance in both
   criminal and civil cases." Id at 13, citing H Conf Rep 95-1720 at
   32.   And plaintiff amici find support in the District of Columbia
   Circuit's opinion in ACLU Foundation of Southern California v Barr,
   952 F2d 457, 465 n 7 (D C Cir 1991), which cited FISA's legislative
   history for the proposition that Congress had intended a court's in

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   camera, ex parte review under section 1806(f) to "determine whether
   the surveillance was authorized and conducted in a manner that did
   not violate any constitutional or statutory right."  Thus,
   plaintiff amici contend, section 1810 is one such "other statute"
   referred to in section 1806(f) under which in camera review is
   available.

                Next, plaintiff amici characterize defendants' contention
   that section 1806(f) is only available in cases in which the
   government has acknowledged having surveilled a party as "look[ing]
   at section 1806(f) through the wrong end of the telescope." Doc
   #440/23 at 14.  Plaintiff amici correctly observe that section
   1806(f) only comes into play when the attorney general notifies the
   court that "disclosure or an adversary hearing would harm the
   national security"----for example, in opposing a discovery request.
   A "motion or request * * * by an aggrieved person" alone is not
   sufficient to trigger in camera review.  Therefore, they argue,
   defendants' position that the government must have acknowledged
   surveillance sets the bar higher than FISA prescribes.

                Third, plaintiff amici address what they believe the bar
   should be----that is, what an individual must show to establish being
   "aggrieved" for section 1806(f) purposes.  They assert that a
   person need only have a "colorable basis for believing he or she
   had been surveilled."  Doc #440/23 at 11-16.  Lacking examples
   arising directly under section 1806(f), plaintiff amici look to
   cases decided under 18 USC section 3504(a)(1) (discussed above),
   including United States v Vielguth, 502 F2d 1257, 1258 (9th Cir
   1974).  In Vielguth, the Ninth Circuit held that the government's
   obligation to affirm or deny the occurrence of electronic

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   surveillance under section 3504(a)(1) "is triggered by the mere
   assertion that unlawful wiretapping has been used against a party."
   Plaintiff amici argue that the standard articulated in Vielguth is
   the applicable standard for an "aggrieved person" for purposes of
   FISA's section 1806(f).  Doc #440/23 at 16.

             The court agrees with plaintiffs that section 1806(f) is
   not limited to criminal proceedings, but may also be invoked in
   civil actions, including actions brought under section 1810.  The
   court disagrees with defendants' proposed limitation of section
   1806(f) to cases in which the government has acknowledged the
   surveillance at issue.  The plain language of the statute, which
   the court must use as its primary compass, United States v Ron Pair
   Enterprises, Inc, 489 US 235, 242 (1988), does not support
   defendants' purported limitations.

             The court parts company with plaintiffs, however, with
   regard to what an individual must show to establish being
   "aggrieved" for section 1806(f) purposes and, consequently, the
   availability of section 1806(f) to plaintiffs in this case in its
   current posture.  As the court reads section 1806(f), a litigant
   must first establish himself as an "aggrieved person" before
   seeking to make a "motion or request * * * to discover or obtain
   applications or orders or other materials relating to electronic
   surveillance [etc]."   If reports are to be believed, plaintiffs
   herein would have had little difficulty establishing their
   "aggrieved person" status if they were able to support their
   request with the Sealed Document.   But the court of appeals,
   applying the state secrets privilege, has unequivocally ruled that
   plaintiffs in the current posture of the case may not use "the

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   Sealed Document, its contents, and any individuals' memories of its
   contents, even well-reasoned speculation as to its contents." 507
   F3d at 1204.  Plaintiffs must first establish "aggrieved person"
   status without the use of the Sealed Document and may then bring a
   "motion or request" under � 1806(f) in response to which the
   attorney general may file an affidavit opposing disclosure.  At
   that point, in camera review of materials responsive to the motion
   or request, including the Sealed Document, might well be
   appropriate.

             The court disagrees with plaintiff amici's suggestion
   that Vielguth, an opinion that established a claimant's burden to
   invoke 18 USC section 3504(a)(1), should also be relied on to
   define the burden for an individual to establish standing as an
   "aggrieved person" for purposes of FISA section 1806(f).  The bar
   set by Vielguth is too low given the text and structure of FISA.
   Moreover, a review of other Ninth Circuit cases reveals that
   Vielguth did not define the standard for all purposes under section
   3504(a)(1).  The court in Vielguth was at pains to distinguish its
   earlier decision in United States v Alter, 482 F2d 1016 (9th Cir
   1973), which, while stating that a witness "does not have to plead
   and prove his entire case to establish standing and to trigger the
   Government's responsibility to affirm or deny," nonetheless
   established a stringent test for making out a prima facie issue of
   electronic surveillance of counsel for a grand jury witness.  The
   court held required affidavits that established:

             (1) the specific facts which reasonably lead the
             affiant to believe that named counsel for the named
             witness has been subjected to electronic
             surveillance;
             (2) the dates of such suspected surveillance;

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             (3) the outside dates of representation of the
             witness by the lawyer during the period of
             surveillance;
             (4) the identity of the person(s), by name or
             description, together with their respective telephone
             numbers, with whom the lawyer (or his agents or
             employees) was communicating at the time the claimed
             surveillance took place; and
             (5) facts showing some connection between possible
             electronic surveillance and the grand jury witness
             who asserts the claim or the grand jury proceeding in
             which the witness is involved.

   Id at 1026.  Vielguth distinguished Alter by limiting the latter to
   "a claim by the person under interrogation that questions put to
   him are tainted by unlawful surveillance of conversations in which
   he did not participate" and did so only over the dissent of one of
   the three panel members.   502 F2d at 1259-61.

             Not long after Vielguth, the Ninth Circuit clarified the
   standard, but only slightly.  In United States v See, 505 F2d 845,
   855-56 (9th Cir 1974), the court rejected a claim under section
   3504 as "vague to the point of being a fishing expedition" and held
   that correspondingly little was required of the government.  The
   court noted that "a general claim requires only a response
   appropriate to such a claim" and that "varying degrees of
   specificity in a claim will require varying degrees of specificity
   in a response."   Id at 856 & n 18.

             The flexible or case-specific standards articulated by
   the Ninth Circuit for establishing aggrieved status under section
   3504(a)(1), while certainly relevant, do not appear directly
   transferrable to the standing inquiry for an "aggrieved person"
   under FISA.  While attempting a precise definition of such a
   standard is beyond the scope of this order, it is certain that


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   plaintiffs' showing thus far with the Sealed Document excluded
   falls short of the mark.   Plaintiff amici hint at the proper
   showing when they refer to "independent evidence disclosing that
   plaintiffs have been surveilled" and a "rich lode of disclosure to
   support their claims" in various of the MDL cases. Doc #440 at 16-
   17.  To proceed with their FISA claim, plaintiffs must present to
   the court enough specifics based on non-classified evidence to
   establish their "aggrieved person" status under FISA.

                                        C

              It is a testament to the obstacles to seeking civil
   remedies for alleged violations of FISA that section 1810 has lain
   "dormant for nearly thirty years."  Andrew Adler, Note, The Notice
   Problem, Unlawful Electronic Surveillance, and Civil Liability
   Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 61 U Miami L Rev
   393, 397 (2006-07).  Dormant indeed.  The print version of the
   United States Code Annotated contains no case notes under section
   1810.  The parties have cited no other case in which a plaintiff
   has actually brought suit under section 1810, let alone secured a
   civil judgment under it.   By contrast, the civil liability
   provisions of Title III, 18 USC � 2520, have been used successfully
   by "aggrieved persons" with regularity since they were enacted in
   1968.   See, e g, Jacobsen v Bell Telephone Co, 592 F2d 515 (9th Cir
   1978), Dorris v Absher, 179 F3d 420 (6th Cir 1999).

              While Congress enacted section 1810 in order to provide a
   private cause of action for unlawful surveillance, section 1810
   bears but faint resemblance to 18 USC section 2520.  While the
   court must not interpret and apply FISA in way that renders section


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   1810 superfluous, Dole Food Co v Patrickson, 538 US 468, 476-77
   (2003), the court must be wary of unwarranted interpretations of
   FISA that would make section 1810 a more robust remedy than
   Congress intended it to be.  As noted, Title III predated FISA by a
   full decade.  If Congress had so intended, it could have written
   FISA to offer a more fulsome and accessible remedy patterned on
   Title III.  Congress may therefore be presumed to have intended not
   to provide such a remedy and the court should not strain to
   construe FISA in a manner designed to give section 1810 greater
   effect than Congress intended. See id.   The same applies with
   regard to the procedure set forth in 18 USC section 3504(a)(1),
   enacted in 1970.  This is not to say that it is impossible to
   obtain relief under section 1810, but the fact that no one has ever
   done so reinforces the court's reading of the plain terms of the
   statute: section 1810 is not user-friendly and the impediments to
   using it may yet prove insurmountable.

                                         IV

                On April 17, 2008, less than a week before the hearing on
   defendants' second motion to dismiss, plaintiffs filed a motion for
   an order extending the time to serve defendants Bush, Alexander,
   Werner and Mueller individually, presumably in response to
   defendants' sovereign immunity arguments in their moving and reply
   papers. Doc # 447/30.  In that motion, plaintiffs do not
   specifically state whether they intended to sue defendants in both
   their official and individual capacities, but they assert that "a
   nonspecific complaint may be characterized as alleging both
   official and personal capacity liability." Id at 2.  Plaintiffs


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   explain their failure to serve the individual defendants
   individually within the 120-day deadline for service under Federal
   Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) as follows: "Within weeks [of serving
   their complaint upon the Attorney General] this case became focused
   on the classified document that Plaintiffs filed under seal with
   the Complaint." Id at 1.  They assert that issues pertaining to
   the Sealed Document, including defendants' assertion of the state
   secrets privilege, "have driven this litigation to date in the
   trial and appellate courts and have overshadowed all other aspects
   of this case." Id.

              Plaintiffs also contend that the individual defendants
   will not be prejudiced by late service of the complaint because:
   (1) they have been on notice of the litigation either through
   personal, open participation in the defense (e g, Declaration of
   NSA Director & Declaration of Keith B Alexander, Al-Haramain, No C
   06-0274 KI Doc #55-2, 59, United States District Court for the
   District of Oregon, filed June 21, 2006) or due to the large amount
   of publicity surrounding these cases and (2) because the case has
   advanced little due to the courts' focus on the Sealed Document,
   the state secrets privilege and legal issues under FISA.  Doc
   #447/30 at 2-3.

              Defendants vigorously oppose plaintiffs' motion,
   asserting that plaintiffs have failed to establish "good cause"
   warranting relief from the 120-day deadline.  They assert that
   plaintiffs have been on notice of the defendants' sovereign
   immunity defense for well over a year and of the particular point
   that individual defendants had not been served for "at least nine
   months." Doc # 448/31 at 3.  Defendants assert that they will be


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   prejudiced by the proposed late service because the suit has been
   pending and actively litigated without notice to defendants as
   individuals for over two years. Id at 5.

              Defendants also point out----correctly----that plaintiffs'
   motion is not in accordance with this court's local rules as it was
   filed less than one week before the April 23 hearing without a
   hearing date specified on the moving papers.  Defendants filed a
   short opposition the day before the hearing requesting, inter alia,
   that the motion be placed on the calendar and briefed in accordance
   with the local rules.

              Plaintiffs' motion mentions Civil Local Rule 6-3 (Doc #
   447/30 at 1), but does not properly invoke or comply with it.  Rule
   6-3 provides the procedure for obtaining a hearing on shortened
   time.  It requires the filing of a motion to shorten time and sets
   forth detailed requirements for such a motion.  Plaintiffs filed no
   such motion.  On the other hand, plaintiffs did not expressly seek
   to have their motion heard on shortened time and, at the April 23
   hearing, it was defendants' attorney who first sought to be heard
   on the matter.  Hearing transcript, Doc # 452 at 44-45.

              Notwithstanding the inartful manner in which plaintiffs
   brought their motion, the court finds the briefing and arguments
   for and in opposition to plaintiffs' motion adequate.  No further
   briefing on this matter will be required.  Plaintiffs, however, are
   admonished to review the local rules of this court and to abide by
   them for the duration of this litigation.

              Rule 4(m) provides two alternative courses for a court to
   follow if a plaintiff has failed to serve one or more defendants
   within the 120-day time limit.  As something like 680 days had


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   elapsed between plaintiffs' filing of their action and the date of
   their motion for an extension of time to serve the individual
   defendants individually, plaintiffs have indisputably exceeded the
   120-day limit by a wide margin.  Rule 4(m) requires the court to
   dismiss the action without prejudice against the particular
   defendants in question "or order that service be made within a
   specified time."  If plaintiff shows good cause for the failure,
   however, the court "must extend the time for service for an
   appropriate period."  The determinations required to adjudicate the
   motion for an extension of time to serve defendants are committed
   to the discretion of the court.  Puett v Blandford, 912 F2d 270,
   273 (9th Cir 1990).

             The court agrees with plaintiffs that although more than
   two years have elapsed, little has occurred in the litigation that
   would prejudice a late-served individual defendant.  This is
   particularly the case given the specific individuals at issue, all
   of whom are high-level government officials closely and publicly
   connected to the policies and practices at issue in this
   litigation.  Dismissal on the ground of failure to serve individual
   defendants would needlessly complicate the litigation and would not
   advance the interests of justice in this case.  Without reaching
   the question whether plaintiffs have established "good cause" for
   their failure to serve the individual defendants, the court instead
   GRANTS the motion to extend time for service.  Should plaintiffs
   choose to amend their complaint in accordance with this order, they
   may serve all unserved defendants with their amended complaint
   within fifteen (15) days of filing it with the court.
   \\


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                                         V

              The lack of precedents under section 1810 complicates the
   task of charting a path forward.  The court of appeals reversed the
   Oregon district court's plan for allowing plaintiffs to proceed
   with their suit, but did not suggest a way for plaintiffs to
   proceed without using the Sealed Document.  Nonetheless, the court
   believes that dismissal with prejudice is not appropriate.
   Accordingly, plaintiffs' FISA claim will be dismissed with leave to
   amend.  Plaintiffs should have the opportunity to amend their claim
   to establish that they are "aggrieved persons" within the meaning
   of 50 USC � 1801(k).  In the event plaintiffs meet this hurdle, the
   court will have occasion to consider the treatment of the Sealed
   Document under section 1806(f) and the significant practical
   challenges of adjudicating plaintiffs' claim under section 1810.

              For the reasons stated herein, plaintiffs' claim under
   FISA is DISMISSED with leave to amend.  Plaintiffs shall have
   thirty (30) days to amend their complaint in accordance with this
   order.   Should plaintiffs seek to amend their non-FISA claims, they
   shall do so by means of a noticed motion before this court in
   accordance with the local rules.

              IT IS SO ORDERED.


                                     VAUGHN R WALKER
                                     United States District Chief Judge





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