Terror suspects Sheheryar Alam Qazi, left, and brother Raees Alam Qazi. Broward Sheriff’s Office Five years after Congress authorized warrantless electronic spying, the Obama administration has never divulged to a single defendant that they were the target of this type of phone or e-mail surveillance—despite lawmakers’ claims the snooping has stopped terrorist plots and resulted in arrests.

The reason federal prosecutors are keeping mum, and perhaps violating federal rules requiring the government to tell defendants where evidence was obtained, is because such a concession would pave the way for a challenge to the constitutionality of the surveillance tactics, which Congress approved in 2008 and then again in December.

Against that backdrop, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a new lawsuit today in a New York federal court against the Justice Department, demanding an accounting of the defendants ensnared under the law, known as the FISA Amendments Act, which codified President George W. Bush’s once-secret spy program adopted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The suit is in response to the government not answering the civil rights group’s Freedom of Information Act request in March. 6     

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