DOMESTIC SPYING BY THE NSA? If this report is true, it really is a major shift in U.S. surveillance policy -- though I'm not sure whether snooping on international calls that originate or end in the U.S. is such a big departure. Orin Kerr has more. "While the statutory privacy laws have an exception for this type of monitoring, see 18 U.S.C. 2511(f), and the constitutional limits on e-mail surveillance are uncertain even in traditional criminal cases, the constitutionality of warrantless interception of telephone calls in situations like this is really murky stuff. "
I can't see any very compelling reason to bypass the courts here, especially given that warrants in these cases are almost always granted. Which makes me wonder what's up.