Federal Judge Stops NSA’s Mass-Collection Program

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Steve Ambrose Contributor
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Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon issued an injunction Monday against the National Security Agency, stopping the agency’s bulk collection of telephone metadata. (RELATED: U.S. Court Rules NSA Can Resume Bulk Collection Of Phone-Call Records)

Plaintiff’s attorney Larry Klayman represented the subscribers of the Verizon Wireless Business Network.

According to The Washington Times, during arguments on Oct. 8 Klayman asked Leon to declare the entire USA Freedom Act unconstitutional and disband the bulk collection practice.

“Congress does not have the right to violate the Constitution,” Klayman said at the time. (RELATED: Wikipedia Tells Reddit Why It Thinks It Can Win Its Lawsuit Against NSA)

During a hearing on Sept. 2, Leon told the attorneys the “clock is running and there isn’t much time between now and November 29 … this court believes there are millions and millions of Americans whose constitutional rights have been and are being violated, but the window … for action is very small. … It’s time to move.”

According to US News, Leon is the first and only district court judge to rule against the NSA program.

The NSA metadata collection program operates under a provision of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and must be renewed every three months.

“The program is intended to enable the government to identify communications among known and unknown terrorism suspects, particularly those located in the United States,” said a report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

When the NSA identifies communications that may be associated with terrorism, it issues intelligence reports to other federal agencies …[ the law] authorized the NSA to collect nearly all call detail records generated by certain telephone companies in the United States, and specifies detailed rules for the use and retention of these records. Call detail records typically include … the date and time of a call, its duration, and the participating telephone numbers …The records collected by the NSA under this program do not, however, include the content of any telephone conversation.

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