Federal Judge Rules NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Unconstitutional

Larry Klayman, a conservative activist and a Verizon customer, filed a lawsuit in June of this year which challenged the NSA’s collection of metadata following the revelations of Edward Snowden. 

Federal District Judge Richard Leon sided with the plaintiff, saying that the NSA’s surveillance program was “indiscriminate” and an “arbitrary invasion [of privacy]”, describing the practice as an,

almost Orwellian technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States.

Judge Leon filed a temporary injunction against the NSA, but suspended the order to allow the government to appeal the ruling.

Judge Richard. J Leon

Stewart Baker, former NSA general counsel, spoke to the BBC’s Katty Kay about the ruling, saying while it was “overcomeable” through appeals, the detailed opinion written by Judge Leon would make reversing the decision very difficult and that, 

“This issue is going to get litigated and it’s going to be difficult for the government for some months or even years to come.”

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