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NSA bulk phone data collection ruled illegal by U.S. Court of Appeals

A U.S. court has ruled that the National Security Agency's bulk phone data collection program was unauthorized. The new ruling on the program, which itself is part of long-running electronic surveillance efforts by the NSA, comes from the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the NSA exceeded the authority given to it by Congress.

From the decision:

For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the district court erred in ruling that § 215 authorizes the telephone metadata collection program, and instead hold that the telephone metadata program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized and therefore violates § 215. Accordingly, we VACATE the district court's judgment dismissing the complaint and REMAND the case to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

The NSA's program saw the agency collect bulk metadata from phone calls in the U.S., including phone numbers, timestamps, and duration. The program has raised the ire of many of the companies that it targeted, including Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

It's important to note that today's ruling does not end the program, or even pause it temporarily. Congress is currently mulling reforms to the NSA's program, and the case is also under review in other federal courts.

Source: National Journal

27 Comments
  • Well.. Good thing people are doing everything Internet based now so that whole case is just something to shut the public up.
  • The court findings are obvious, and not even be a discussion  Protection from General Warranst is exactly why the 4th Amendment was included in the constitution.  This protection was not limited to phone use, or internet use, but that the government should never be looking through our stuff randomly hoping to find something, unless they have a specific warrant to do so. IV Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. It was copied after State constitutions and specifically written as protection against the use of "General Warrants" that people found so abusive at the time.  ---------------- Seeing the danger general warrants presented, the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) explicitly forbade the use of general warrants. This prohibition became a precedent for the Fourth Amendment:[13]
    That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
  • They ain't gonna stop anytime soon though
  • Was there any doubt..?
  • They appeal/change the original policy and make it legal...
  • Wasn't that the true point of the cellphone registry
  • I like that the court found it illegal, but now they need to do something about the whole collecting of internet data.
  • The only thing they will do is changing this " The court ruled that the NSA exceeded the authority given to it by Congress. "
  • What's a "§"?
  • I believe it's something to do with the rules and regs... Subsections? I may be wrong but I've seen it as A.R.S 23 then that.
  • It's the symbol for paragraph. So it's paragraph 215 of the The Freedom Act.
  • Simonlee! :D it's a money from the sims! :D
  • So who goes to jail?
  • The whistleblower, of course.
  • Wow. Right?!
  • Get rid of the NSA completely.
  • Ms said that Windows"phone"is secured phone and NSA is not tracking us
  • Network metadata <> Phone Security.
  • I don't understand you?
  • The phone or the OS might be secure but the network metadata isn't. Or it's beyond Microsoft's protection.
  • I agree with you
  • This is only in the, united states in other countries that decision of court will have zero effects
  • Prediction...soon after the final ruling a sinister event will occur in the U.S.A. We'll be told that this event could have been thwarted if only the NSA could have had the tools necessary. Patriot act 2.0 will be signed.
  • This prediction is guaranteed.
  • Lovely how foreigners are apparently not considered to have human rights in America.
  • You're kidding right. Try being a good guy whose made mistakes but got your **** together and get on the radar of the police or the OSBI and these guys will come to your town and completely trash your name and reputation to where cops think it's okay to try and run you off the road and potentially kill you in a so called accident. That's the kind of low life's that are running investigations on Americans. So you don't have to be a foreigner to have your rights stripped and **** on.
  • That's ok, you're still being watched...