The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed an emergency petition to the Supreme Court challenging the NSA domestic surveillance program. The emergency petition can be accessed here. The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s (FISC) order compelling the release of information to NSA is here.
The petition is trying to stop all disclosures of telephone records for millions of Americans. In other words, EPIC is alleging that FISC (United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) does not have the legal authority to compel Verizon to hand over all domestic telephone metadata to the NSA.
To put things in perspective, metadata is not limited to numbers and data you can see in a paper. Metadata includes basically everything. It is commonly referred to as the data of data. This would include the time and date when it was created, who created, who changed it, how it was created, who owns it, what tools were used to create it, where the file is stored, and so on. For instance, a photo metadata includes what camera was used to created it, copyright and contact information, exposure information, dates, times, if it was downloaded, how many times it was downloaded, and so on.