Ruling Against NSA Phone Sweep Lifts 'Cloak of Secrecy'

A federal judge ruled Monday against the National Security Agency’s phone sweep program declaring that it will probably be found unconstitutional and blocked the data collection of the two plaintiffs in the case. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon stayed his injunction pending appeals, which will surely come from the Obama administration.

The New York Times: “Reaching into the 18th century from the 21st, the judge wrote that James Madison “would be aghast” at the degree of privacy invasion the data sweep represents.”

“Though the ruling is limited in those respects, it is an enormous symbolic victory for opponents of the bulk-collection program, and a reminder of the importance of the adversarial process. For seven years, these constitutional issues have been adjudicated under ‘a cloak of secrecy,’ as Judge Leon put it. Now, that cloak has finally been lifted in a true court of law.”

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