US Judge Rules that NSA Phone Tapping is Legal


A US judge has ruled that the NSA's bulk metadata collection program is legal. The case, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, accused the program of being unconstitutional on the grounds of the bulk collection of metadata being for people who are not suspected of any crime.

The government claims that because the metadata is not tied to any individual, the scope of the program is legal. This is hotly contested among the privacy community as it has been shown that linking metadata to an individual is trivial.

It has also been shown that the "it's just metadata" argument doesn't hold up well either. You can tell a great deal about a person from their calls, texts, and GPS location data.

The good news is that judges are not in agreement on the matter. The cases are being heard in parallel hearings in courtrooms around the country, with multiple plaintiffs making similar claims and the results are not universal. One judge called the program unconstitutional and commented that the program was "almost Orwellian" in nature (referring to George Orwell's famous work 1984, which depicted a dystopian future with all-seeing mass surveillance that crushed individual freedom).

Sources:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/901810/klaymanvobama215.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/us/nsa-phone-surveillance-is-lawful-federal-judge-rules.html

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/12/us-judge-rules-nsa-phone-tapping-legal-2013122717117483526.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/27/judge-rules-nsa-phone-data-collection-legal

http://webpolicy.org/2013/12/23/metaphone-the-nsas-got-your-number/


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