Judge: NSA spying ‘almost Orwellian,’ likely unconstitutional
By Olivier Knox | Yahoo News
In a stinging rebuke to President Barack Obama’s surveillance policies, a federal judge on Monday branded the National Security Agency’s mass collection of Americans’ telephone data “almost Orwellian” and likely a violation of the Constitution.
Appeals Court Judge Richard Leon invoked Founding Father James Madison and the Beatles in a frequently scathing ruling. Leon, appointed by then-President George W. Bush, ordered the government to halt bulk collection of so-called telephony metadata and destroy information already collected through that program. But he suspended his order as the case works its way through the courts.
“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘abitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” Leon wrote.
The judge also dealt a blow to the government’s argument that such surveillance programs — a source of controversy ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed their reach in a series of unauthorized disclosures — are necessary to thwarting terrorist plots.
“The Government does not cite a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature,” he wrote.
Leon said Founding Father James Madison would likely be “aghast” at the NSA’s activities — but also conjured up a Beatles-themed image to rebut the government’s suggestion that it does not collect Verizon metadata.
“To draw an analogy, if the NSA’s program operates the way the Government suggests it does, then omitting Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint from the collection would be like omitting John, Paul, and George from a historical analysis of the Beatles. A Ringo-only database doesn’t make any sense, and I cannot believe the Government would create, maintain, and so ardently defend such a system,” he wrote in footnote 36 on page 38.
Among Leon’s other flourishes, he warned that the so-called war on terrorism “realistically could be forever!” He expressed concerns about the “almost Orwellian technology that enables the Government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States.” And he said modern-day surveillance tactics would have been “the stuff of science fiction” at the time a precedent ruling was issued.
The White House had no immediate response to the ruling.
Article from: news.yahoo.com
The NSA’s “Lone Wolf” Justification for Mass Spying Is B.S.
NSA Chief on Spy Programs: “There is no Other Way to Connect the Dots”
Sweden spied on Russia for NSA: report
Congress Backs Terrorists In Syria … Then Says We Need NSA Spying Because There are Terrorists In Syria
Canada ’allowed NSA to spy on G8 and G20 summits’
Document Reveals NSA Spied On Porn Habits As Part Of Plan To Discredit ’Radicalizers’
White House: NSA Surveillance Transparency Would Be Too Much Work
Confirmed: NSA has broken into Google, Yahoo data centers and now monitors all web searches, Gmail
Latest News from our Front Page
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech"
1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation
Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person?
2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
FBI agents canâ€™t point to any major terrorism cases theyâ€™ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Departmentâ€™s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senateâ€™s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes â€” a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant.
An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
|More News » |