Litigation » Appeals Court: NSA Data Collection Illegal

Appeals Court: NSA Data Collection Illegal

May 7, 2015

Photo of an old, dirty brown retro telephone with removed earpiece. Image may represent poor quality of connection or wiretapping/telephone bug

A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Patriot Act was never written to authorize the kind of broad surveillance that the NSA has exercised. Unless the ruling is overturned by a higher court, it signals the end of the domestic phone records surveillance program, and Congress must now decide whether to explicitly authorize the program under the Patriot Act, writes Andy Greenberg in Wired. “We hold that the [Act] cannot bear the weight the government asks us to assign to it, and that it does not authorize the telephone metadata program,” the ruling reads. “We do so comfortably in the full understanding that if Congress chooses to authorize such a far-reaching and unprecedented program, it has every opportunity to do so, and to do so unambiguously.”

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