Judge: NSA's bulk collection of phone records likely violates Constitution; appeal expected

  • Article by: FREDERIC J. FROMMER , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 16, 2013 - 5:15 PM

WASHINGTON — In a ruling with potentially far-reaching consequences, a federal judge declared Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records likely violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on unreasonable search. The ruling, filled with blistering criticism of the Obama administration's arguments, is the first of its kind on the controversial program.

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Seawaves AheadDec. 16, 13 1:52 PM

FINALLY! A Judge who has read & understood the US Constitution, especially the 4th Amendment, has the opportunity to rule in favor of the citizen's constitutional rights. The Administration wants to stack the DC Court to prevent a ruling like this that favors the citizen over the absolute power of the Government. Note: he was appointed by Bush.

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deputydawg2Dec. 16, 13 1:56 PM

This should come as no surprise. We are citizens and not subjects of the state.

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wiseoracleDec. 16, 13 1:56 PM

A glimmer of hope... that the Constitution of the United States may yet prevail, and be upheld! It must be Xmas?!?! yay!

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alansonDec. 16, 13 2:01 PM

Kind of an emperor-has-no-clothes moment for NSA. Was it really a crime for Snowden to reveal the blatantly unconstitutional snooping by the National Security Agency?

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peoplewatchrDec. 16, 13 2:22 PM

Been a tough couple of months for Team Obama.

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EleanoreDec. 16, 13 2:32 PM

I'm not so sure that the gross collection of unassociated data without a warrant is ni fact a line crosser.

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Truckman182Dec. 16, 13 2:47 PM

Excellent news!!!

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unicorn4711Dec. 16, 13 2:47 PM

And this is exactly why the NSA went to such lengths to keep its program secret and make democratic oversight as complicated as possible. If people know what is going on, they'll challenge it in court. If they challenge it in court, a judge might limit or restrict the NSA's information gathering. They knew full well that the Smith v. Maryland definition of a "search" for 4th Amendment purposes wouldn't work so well in the 21st century when we have advanced algorithms and computers. To keep the court challenge from happening, they kept the whole program covered up. Which is why Snowden had to leak to the public and why his leaks have had such a huge effect.

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unicorn4711Dec. 16, 13 2:49 PM

Thanks Snowden. The 4th Amendment has a better chance of being protected when people know what is going on. No one could get standing in court to challenge data gather practices when no one knew the details of how they work, as there is no standing for speculative of possible violations of your rights.

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deputydawg2Dec. 16, 13 2:51 PM

Now if they just acknowledge that forcing us to buy insurance is unconstitutional and that collecting our medical records is also an unreasonable search.

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