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Court: NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Is Illegal


(Mike Saechang) (Mike Saechang)

A federal appeals court has ruled this morning that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program is in violation of federal law.

The ruling (PDF) from the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New York is a response to the lawsuit that was dismissed in 2013, when the U.S. District Court in New York held that the NSA’s program was legal. The plaintiffs — the ALCU, mainly — appealed, and the three judges of the appeals court overruled the finding of the lower court.

“Because we find that the program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized,” circuit judge Gerard E. Lynch wrote, “we vacate the decision below dismissing the complaint without reaching appellants’ constitutional arguments.”

With the decision to dismiss the lawsuit vacated and remanded back to the lower court, the ACLU can now pursue its arguments against the…

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