Judge Richard J. Leon of the District of Colombia ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to not only stop collecting data on common people’s personal telephonic conversations, but also to destroy the calling history records of them as well, making this the first legal hit on the Agency’s face in many more to come.
In the executive ruling, which was 68 pages long, the Judge has made very clear that the NSA’s data collection technology is highly unconstitutional in its infringements to the Right to Liberty of every US citizen, mentioning the technology to be “almost Orwellian” and would have horrified James Madison, the author of the Constitution of the United States.
An article made public by Politico stated that Judge Richard J. Leon has found the data collection program in violation with the Fourth Amendment ban on searches and seizures which were unreasonable.
According to New York Times on the ruling, the Judge mentioned here that it is impossible to think of a way more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary’ in terms of invading the common man’s privacy than this highly advanced and well-managed collection and storage of personal data of almost every single citizen of the country, in the name of querying and analyzing it without consent or permissions from the court. It is for sure that such a program violates ‘that degree of privacy’ which was protected in the Fourth Amendment by the Founders. Judge Leon also mentioned that the Department of Justice had not succeeded in demonstrating control over terrorist activities by collection of mobile phone records.
“PRISM”, which is the phone metadata collection program of the National Security Agency, whose name came to light only after Edward Snowden’s first whistleblower among many in June uncovering the details about surveillance by the NSA and intelligence agencies of other countries, has been dealt its first successful legal challenge. The case has been brought to the court by a number of common people who are being led by a legal activist and lawyer, Larry Klayman.
A similar lawsuit has been filed in the Southern District of New York by the ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU has also released a Christmas video regarding the matter at hand, “The NSA is Coming to Town” to throw some fun at the Agency.
The Judge knows the fact that the Government shouldn’t and wouldn’t put an end to the intelligence operations in a matter of hours, so he stayed his injunction mentioning the “novelty of the constitutional issues” and the significant national security interests at stake in this case.
The government has been provided time by the Judge to appeal the ruling who also mentioned the appeal taking six months. Edward Snowden’s statement has been brought to light by The New York Times here which was distributed by the journalist Glenn Greenwald who was one of the several recipients of the leaked documents, which said that he acted on his trust that the Agency’s “mass surveillance programs” won’t be challenged by the constitution, that it is a right of the American people to have these issues seen in open courts. Now that a covert program which was authorized by a secret court has been revealed has been found to be an infringement to the American Citizen’s rights, which is the 1st among many others. Josh Gerstein of Politico points out quite notably that Judge Leon didn’t need to make a conclusive ruling on the constitutional issues pertaining to the case, but took account of the side he believes is going to stand strong in the court.
“PRISM”, the phone metadata collection program of the NSA has not been conclusively declared as unconstitutional in the Monday ruling of the District of Colombia court, at least, not yet!
The website of the District of Colombia was slammed with high incoming network traffic volume and was unable to load all afternoon. Shows that People are interested in who is monitoring them!