Federal Judge: ‘Almost-Orwellian’ NSA Abuses Violate 4th Amendment

Fourth amendment

Via Think Progress:

A federal judge has ruled that the “wholesale collection of the phone record metadata” of all U.S. citizens — a program exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — likely violates the 4th Amendment and is unconstitutional.

In his opinion, Judge Richard Leon found that the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Smith v. Maryland no longer applies:

“[T]he almost-Orwellian technology that enables the Government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States is unlike anything that could have been conceived in 1979. In Smith, the Supreme Court was actually considering whether local police could collect one person’s phone records for calls made after the pen register was installed and for the limited purpose of a small-scale investigation of harassing phone calls. The notion that the Government could collect similar data on hundreds of millions of people and retain that data for a five-year period, updating it with new data in perpetuity, was at best, in 1979, the stuff of science fiction.”

The decision was stayed by Judge Leon pending appeal and, therefore, has no immediate effect.

Edward Snowden released the following statement via Glenn Greenwald: “I acted on my belief that the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts. Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights. It is the first of many.”

More Info:
Federal Court Rules Bulk Collection Of Phone Records By NSA Likely Violates Constitution: Founding Fathers ‘Would Be Aghast’
This Is The Most Important Paragraph In The Court Decision Against The NSA

UPDATE:
’60 Minutes’ Trashed For NSA Piece (Did anybody else see that? It was a new low for CBS).

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on December 16, 2013 - 9:06 pm

    Mark my words. They’ll find another judge to overrule this decision. I’ve seen this too many times. :(

    This particular judge will be in the unemployment line, but will still be able to hold his head up – inside.

    There’s no way he’s going to able to put up with the heat.

    CBS will have to hold it’s head down – inside.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on December 17, 2013 - 7:49 am

    You don’t have to be an expert on the Bill of Rights to see that the NSA’s surveillance is blatantly unconstitutional. BTW Judge Leon is a conservative appointed by George H.W. Bush.

  3. #3 by brewski on December 17, 2013 - 12:03 pm

    But Obama PROMISED us that he would respect the constitution and even mocked his predecessor on this point.

    • #4 by Richard Warnick on December 17, 2013 - 2:37 pm

      I don’t know what promise you are referring to. Anyway, it was clear where Obama stood on this issue when he decided to vote for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The main reason I decided not to vote for him.

    • #6 by Larry Bergan on December 20, 2013 - 7:38 pm

      Well yeah, I guess you could say that would be a pretty good recommendation.

      All this time, I just thought they were reading my thoughts without my knowledge, which didn’t really make me think I was being searched or seized because I didn’t know about it.

      If they can mess with my bank account, I’m probably going to know about that, but I still think knowing my thoughts, without my knowledge stinks.

      In fact, it makes me angry.

      Plus: unconstitutionality comes to mind a little.

  4. #7 by Larry Bergan on December 20, 2013 - 7:53 pm

    This is going to end up in the Supreme Court so we KNOW that an impartial jury of their corporate peers will decide, unless SCOTUS decides to chicken out, like they do on so many important issues.

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