NSA phone record collection ruled unconstitutional

by AP

alt

FILE - This June 6, 2013 file photo shows a sign outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. A federal judge says the NSA's bulk collection of phone records violates the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches. The judge put his decision on hold pending a nearly certain government appeal. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records violates the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches, but put his decision on hold pending a near-certain government appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon granted a preliminary injunction sought by plaintiffs Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, concluding they were likely to prevail in their constitutional challenge. Leon, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, ruled Monday that the two men are likely to be able to show that their privacy interests outweigh the government's interest in collecting the data. Leon says that means that massive collection program is an unreasonable search under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment.

The collection program was disclosed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden, provoking a heated debate over civil liberties. The Obama administration has defended the program as a crucial tool against terrorism.

But in his a 68-page, heavily footnoted opinion, Leon concluded that the government didn't cite a single instance in which the program "actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack."

"I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism," he added.

He said was staying his ruling pending appeal "in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues."



More Local

Search warrants lead to coke busts

On Friday, authorities with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office seized over 50 grams of cocaine while executing search warrants. At 6:3 ... Read More


Volunteers recall Katrina tour

In the wake of devastation, often one of the only things that can be counted on is the character of those who remain. When Major Tony Grant ... Read More


Authorities warn against latest Facebook scam

Several residents of Coweta have reported another scam – this time on Facebook. Brenda Brown Neil said someone using a fake profile co ... Read More


Grantville to switch to four-day work week

The Grantville City Council will keep the senior citizen center open five days a week even though city employees are moving to a four-day wo ... Read More


UPDATE: Robbery believed to be motive

Additional arrests made in Spice murder case

Three additional arrests have been made in the murder investigation of Kenneth Michael Spice, and authorities now believe that robbery was a ... Read More

Officials urge students to guard their cell phones

As students get settled back into a new school year, officials are urging them to keep a watchful eye on their technology. Since August 2014 ... Read More