Jewel v. National Security Agency

Brief for Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Brief filed: 09/13/2019


Jewel v. National Security Agency

9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 15-16133

Prior Decision

On appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. 4:08-cv-04373-JSW


The government's mass interception and scanning of Americans' Internet communications is a search and seizure, triggering the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. The "special needs" exception to the warrants requirement cannot justify the government's surveillance program. Foreign Intelligence is not the "primary purpose" of the NSA's dragnet surveillance program. The impact of the intrusion from the NSA's Internet surveillance outweighs the government's need. The privacy interests harmed by upstream surveillance outweigh the government's interest in the program. Indiscriminately seizing and searching communications will include attorney-client communications and therefore impact individuals' Sixth Amendment rights.


Benjamin B. Au, Tara J. Norris, and W. Henry Huttinger, Durie Tangri LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Catherine R. Gellis, Sausalito, CA; Michael Price, NACDL, Washington, DC; Gia L. Cincone, NACDL, San Francisco.

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