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News Link • Surveillance

Victory: Federal Appeals Court Declares NSA Domestic Spying on Telephone Calls Illegal...

• By John W. Whitehead

Describing the National Security Agency's (NSA) domestic spying program that collects data about virtually all telephone calls made in the United States as "staggering" in its scope and unauthorized by the Patriot Act, a federal appeals court has struck down the agency's surveillance program, ruling that the program violates a federal law authorizing more limited investigations in support of national security. The unanimous decision in ACLU v. Clapper vacated a ruling upholding the NSA's bulk collection of telephone metadata, which has continued since 2006, and instructed the lower court to consider whether to order the government to stop the surveillance. The Rutherford Institute filed an amicus curiae brief in the case likening the program to the abusive colonial-era general warrants and writs of assistance which prompted the Framers of the U.S. Constitution to adopt the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

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