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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40 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)

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4 days ago

Hillsdale, ND St., Montreal Among Top 200 Non-FBS Schools

Sep 25 2014 1:24am CDT | Source: Big Government

The ranks of Historically Black Colleges, Junior Colleges, Canadian Football, and lower NCAA divisions field a number of football teams that would likely win some games if they were able to play FBS schools. A list of the top-200 non-FBS schools below includes conservative bastion Hillsdale, which took a stand against racism in the 1950s by refusing a bowl bid based on discrimination. North Dakota State's continued dominance of ...
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Sep 23 2014 6:12pm CDT | Source: WND

In what may become the most compelling free-speech campaign in our educational history, FIRE (Foundation For Individual Rights in Education) has embarked on a lawsuit campaign to restore and guarantee the existence of free speech on our college campuses. Speaking before the National Press Club in Washington on July 1, Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE, first focused on speech codes that ban from col ...
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Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
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Horowitz: Happy Constitution Day

Sep 17 2014 7:53am CDT | Source: Big Government

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Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
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Sep 16 2014 6:00pm CDT | Source: WND

As I have often reported, FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) continually fights in the courts and media to protect the free speech rights of students and faculty on college campuses – no matter their politics or religion (or absence of any). However, much remains for FIRE to do to educate students on why and how they are Americans. Earlier this month, that defender of America’s mo ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
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In Celebration Of Our National Anthem's Bicentennial

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This past Saturday and Sunday marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore, which occurred towards the end of the War of 1812. Tomorrow will be the bicentennial of Francis Scott Key completing the now-immortal lyrics he titled: "The Defence Of Fort M'Henry" -- later more famously known as America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The War of 1812 was one of (if not "the") most pointless wars America ha ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
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Senate Republicans Vote to Silence Working Americans

Sep 15 2014 6:55am CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

Senate Republicans voted unanimously last week for elections that are competitions of cash, with candidates who amass the most money empowered to shout down opponents. The GOP rejected elections that are contests of ideas won by candidates offering the best concepts. Forty-two Republican Senators on Thursday opposed advancing a proposed constitutional amendment called Democracy for All. It would have ended the one percent’s control over elections and politicians. It would have reversed the ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
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2 weeks ago

Prayer returns to Capitol Hill

Sep 14 2014 12:39pm CDT | Source: WND

WASHINGTON – The view from the speaker’s balcony is spectacular and unlike any vantage in the nation’s capital. From the crest of Capitol Hill looking across the West Lawn toward the Washington Monument, half of the city is laid out in plain view, and at night, the boulevards, which all seem to lead to the Capitol, sparkle as though lined with diamonds. A historian recently leading a group of visitors pointed ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
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2 weeks ago

Madison was right about militarization of police

Sep 9 2014 6:41pm CDT | Source: WND

Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma perhaps said it best. “There is no role in for the federal government in local and state police forces in our country,” the Republican said, during a Tuesday hearing, the “Oversight of Federal Programs for Equipping State and Local Law Enforcement,” of the full Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Interestingly, his comments were followed minutes later by a statement from his Democratic colleague Sen. Claire McCask ...
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3 weeks ago

Dominion Over Nature: Greenwashing Virginia Utility Is Member of Pro-Pollution Group ALEC

Sep 2 2014 4:06pm CDT | Source: ThinkProgress

A greenwashing web-page from Virginia’s coal-heavy, pro-pollution utility. Virginia energy company Dominion Resources claims it works to “protect and enhance” the environment. But even setting aside its heavy reliance on coal generation, Dominion continues to be a member of the pro-pollution corporate bill mill and slush fund known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Dozens of major c ...
Source: ThinkProgress   Full article at: ThinkProgress
 

 

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