Big Brother Returns: Mass Collection of Phone Data O.K. Again

The spying program, struck down in federal district court and since altered by President Obama and Congress, is now allowed to stand by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled in 2013, in a lawsuit brought by conservative activist Larry Klayman, that the legal challenge to the massive surveillance program — disclosed that year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — would likely succeed. He issued a preliminary injunction against it but suspended the order to allow an appeal by the Justice Department.

According to USA Today, the program was upheld by a federal court in New York, struck down by an appeals court there, and altered by Congress. Starting in November, phone companies will retain the data, and the NSA only can obtain information about targeted individuals with permission from a federal court. And since the federal court approved the program, of course they will allow spying. As shown here, it is only rejected because Republicans were against it. If Conservatives has approved it, the Obama administration would be cancelling it in a moment. Read the whole story here.

Under the program, the government can obtain information such as phone numbers dialed and the length of the calls, but not their content.

The judges also ruled that the program's secrecy, challenged by the plaintiffs in the case, “is a feature of the program, not a bug,” allowing the government to sidestep liability by keeping the material it collects classified.

Big Brother is here, Big Time.


Photo: SiliconBeat



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