360° Coverage : US judge rules NSA data collection unconstitutional

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US judge rules NSA data collection unconstitutional

Dec 16 2013, 11:54pm CST | by

Washington, Dec 17 (IANS) In what the media here called a "powerful rebuke" to the Obama administration, a US federal judge has ruled the US National Security Agency's once-secret mass collection of domestic phone records is most likely unconstitutional.

Washington, Dec 17 — In what the media here called a "powerful rebuke" to the Obama administration, a US federal judge has ruled the US National Security Agency's once-secret mass collection of...

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32 weeks ago

US judge rules NSA data collection unconstitutional

Dec 16 2013, 11:54pm CST | by

Washington, Dec 17 (IANS) In what the media here called a "powerful rebuke" to the Obama administration, a US federal judge has ruled the US National Security Agency's once-secret mass collection of domestic phone records is most likely unconstitutional.

Washington, Dec 17 — In what the media here called a "powerful rebuke" to the Obama administration, a US federal judge has ruled the US National Security Agency's once-secret mass collection of domestic phone records is most likely unconstitutional.

Describing its technology as "almost Orwellian" and suggesting that James Madison would be "aghast" to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way, US District Judge Richard Leon said NSA's action apparently violates privacy rights.

Madison, the fourth US president is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for being instrumental in the drafting of the US Constitution and as the key champion and author of the US States Bill of Rights.

The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by conservative activist Larry Klayman, a user of a Verizon mobile telephone who challenged the NSA's collection of metadata -- phone records of the time and numbers called without any disclosure of content -- on his behalf and that of a client.

But the judge limited the decision only to their cases and also put off enforcing his order barring the government from collecting the information, pending an appeal by the government.

"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval," said Leon

"Surely, such a programme infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment," added the judge, who was appointed to the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia in 2002 by President George W. Bush.

A Justice Department spokesman said Monday that "we believe the programme is constitutional as previous judges have found," but said the ruling is being studied.

The agency's collection of "metadata" was exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has been given 12 months asylum in Russia.

Calling the judge's ruling a "A Powerful Rebuke of Mass Surveillance", the New York Times described it as "an enormous symbolic victory for opponents of the bulk-collection programme, and a reminder of the importance of the adversarial process."

Saying "The NSA must make its case," the Washington Post opined that "If the government is to emerge from Mr. Snowden's revelations with the authorities that officials insist are crucial, it will have to do more to demonstrate why they are essential and how Americans' privacy is being protected."

Earlier Monday, the White House rejected the suggestion Snowden be granted amnesty, a day after a top NSA official publicly suggested a deal could be reached to keep Snowden from leaking more documents.

"There's been no change in our position," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters and the US government continued to press Russia.

"He faces felony charges here, he ought to be returned to the United States, again, where he will face full due process and protection under our system of justice, that we hope he will avail himself of."

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
8

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A recent Washington Post article reported that the state constitutions of eight states - Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas - expressly prohibit individuals who do not believe in God from holding public office. The Arkansas constitution, for example, provides that "no person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in . . . this State," the Mississippi constitution stipu ...
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(Rutherford Institute) — “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison “Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”—Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant If the United States is a police stat ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
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6 weeks ago

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As terrorists overwhelmed Iraqi security forces, President Barack Obama attempted to wash his hands of any responsibility for Iraq's fate last week. "The fact that they are not willing to stand and fight and defend their posts against admittedly hardened terrorists, but not terrorists who are overwhelming in numbers, indicates that there's a problem with morale," he said, suggesting that if the Iraqis would not fight, tough lu ...
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Evangelicals Criticize Cantor's Claim Dream Act is Biblical

Jun 5 2014 12:27pm CDT | Source: Big Government

On Wednesday two prominent Evangelical Christians criticized House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) assertion that the Dream Act, which would grant citizenship to the children of illegal aliens, is "biblical." Cantor, who has received criticism for his recent claims that he opposes amnesty for illegal aliens from long-shot challenger David Brat, made the remarks Monday on the John Fredricks radio program. "Declaring something biblical is to say it's a clear uneq ...
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8 weeks ago

The Snowden Effect: 8 Things That Happened Only Because Of The NSA Leaks

Jun 5 2014 6:31am CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

One year ago Thursday, one of the most consequential leaks of classified U.S. government documents in history exploded onto the world scene: The first story based on documents from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was published. Americans finally knew the spy agency was sucking up virtually all of the data about who they called and when. What followed was a torrent of articles based on the Snowden documents ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 

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