In December 2005, the New York Times broke the story that the National Security Agency (NSA) had monitored communications within the United States without obtaining a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
In January, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NSA, on behalf of "a group of journalists, scholars, attorneys, and national nonprofit organizations (including the ACLU) who frequently communicate by phone and e-mail with people in the Middle East."
In May, USA Today broke the story that the NSA is assembling a database of every phone call ever made inside the United States.
In August, a Federal District Judge ruled that the wiretaps were unconstitutional -- violating the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed in the wake of Watergate -- and called for the government to stop immediately.
Subsequently, Congress has attempted to amend the enabling FISA legislation. This timeline provides links to news coverage related to FISA and the wiretaps.
:: Part 1: Dec 2005 - Feb 2006
:: Part 2: Apr 2006 - July 2006
:: Part 3: Aug 2006 -
:: Part 4: Sept 2007 - Jan 2008